Microsoft will build its giant $20K Surface tablets in US
Microsoft’s giant touch screen, the Microsoft Surface Hub, will be made domestically, the company said this week.
The product — which comes in a $20,000, 84-inch version and a $7,000, 55-inch version — was developed at the company’s facility in Wilsonville, Oregon, where it will also manufacture the new line.
A lengthy story in Fast Company outlines how the product came to be and why Microsoft chose to make it in the U.S. instead of in electronics manufacturing hubs in Asia.
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Microsoft, which has 1,200 employees at its offices in Irving, hasn’t yet shared what sort of capacity the Wilsonville facility has or if commercial manufacturing of the Surface Hub will require new hiring.
Microsoft came to Wilsonville in 2012 with the acquisition of Perceptive Pixel, which opened its facility in 2009. Software development for the product happens at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington.
Fast Company notes that Microsoft isn’t the only company in the Portland metro working on giant tablets. InFocus, which has been moving from commodity projectors into displays, makes the Mondopad and BigTouch. Planar in Beaverton and Pixelworks in Tigard are also working on display technology.
The region has a rich hardware history beginning with Tektronix, an early silicon forest pioneer that spawned a digital display cluster. Even Elemental Technologies, one of Portland’s younger, growing tech firms, traces its roots to this cluster.