Microsoft to introduce more affordable conference solutions with Project Rigel

Ivan Jenic By: Ivan Jenic
2 minute read

Last year, Microsoft introduced the Surface Hub, a revolutionary conference tool powered by Windows 10. And although the Surface Hub offers everything needed for a modern business meeting or conference, it ships at hefty price points: $8,999 for a 55-inch device, and $21,999 for a 84-inch device.

Of course, these prices means that not every company or business can afford to buy even a single device. So, Microsoft partnered with hardware manufacturers to deliver more affordable conference solutions that retain their effectiveness for businesses unwilling or unable to pay for the Surface Hub.

Microsoft introduces Project Rigel

To accomplish its plan to provide cheaper business conference solutions to companies, Microsoft introduced Project Rigel. Project Rigel’s aim is to help companies organize video conferences and meetings with nearly any projector and display. Project Rigel will be powered by Skype for Business, so communication between attendees will be easy.

Microsoft also announced that it will cooperate with Logitech and Polycom to deliver the proper hardware compatible with Project Rigel. Logitech also said that it is working on a smart dock that will connect all devices together. In addition, Polycom is working on a new videoconferencing system to work with Skype for Business.

Additionally, Microsoft is also working on a new service that will allow both Polycom’s and Logitech’s systems to connect with Skype for Business via the cloud. Project Rigel will also have full Office 365 integration which, since yesterday, Microsoft made compatible with Skype.

Besides all these features, Microsoft also promised that it will make its Skype for Business’ PSTN Calling feature available outside the US in May. The feature will first be offered to customers in the US who will be able to register for beta testing.

Since the introduction of Windows 10, Microsoft presented a handful of new hardware and software-related projects. It looks like the company wants to make Windows 10 compatible with products and services from other companies, but also with some of its own service in order to make Windows 10 an omnipotent operating system. If they continue down this road, users won’t need to use anything else.

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