Microsoft is closing its manufacturing plant in Wilsonville, Oregon, where it builds the Surface Hub. In a letter to state authorities, the company confirmed that the factory will be shutting down soon, with the loss of 124 jobs.
61 jobs will go on September 8, with a further 63 layoffs in the following months. The plant was originally part of Perceptive Pixel, which Microsoft acquired in 2012, developing its products into what would eventually become the Surface Hub. The giant touchscreen collaboration device - which runs Windows 10 Team, a specialized version of the OS - comes in 55- and 84-inch models, priced at $8,999 and $21,999 respectively.
In recent months, Microsoft has repeatedly talked up the success of the Surface Hub - in December, it said that demand had exceeded expectations; and in May, Microsoft UK said it had seen "huge demand" for the Hub as it announced the expansion of its partner programme there.
So it seems unlikely that the company is shutting down its Oregon plant with the intention of killing off the Surface Hub product line. In fact, as Petri's Brad Sams reported, internal Microsoft documentation already refers to the Surface Hub 2.
The decision to close the factory may well be linked to the end of production of the current models, as the company prepares for the launch of the second-generation Hub. However, it's not yet clear if Microsoft will build the next Surface Hub in the United States.
This latest news of job losses comes less than a week after Microsoft confirmed that it will cut up to 3,000 jobs from its global workforce, as it realigns its sales teams to focus more heavily on its Azure cloud platform.