Mixed Office apps experience on the Surface Hub

While the Surface Hub is a great group device — it’s not specifically designed for individuals to access their content as easily as they would from their own computer.

This poses somewhat of a challenge as the intent of the Surface Hub is for people to stand near and work with the device, not stay seated at their computers.

Pre-installed on the Surface Hub are both the Office apps (eg. the “mobile” touch-friendly versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint) as well as OneDrive for Business.

All of the apps allow users to sign in which then provides access to their recently accessed content. However, what I’ve found is that the sign-in experience does not appear to be consistent between them.

As you can see from the Sway below I was able to sign in to some apps while others still required me to log in. In some instances, there was a delay between it realising that I was already signed in and then bringing up the history in the second app, whereas in other instances it simply required me to sign in again.

When signing in to the Office apps or OneDrive for Business app the user is prompted to add the account to Windows or skip the step. This is core Windows 10 functionality that is designed to simplify the sign-in experience for other Azure Active Directory / Office 365 aware applications. In my tests, I tried both options — signing in as well as skipping the step. As the Surface Hub allows you to scrub the session when you press “I’m done” I could test out both scenarios without any interference.


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