The public awareness of Microsoft’s flagship Surface detachable product line has been increasing steadily over the past couple of years. Arguably, much of the success the Surface brand and products are a result of Microsoft’s vigilant marketing efforts.

Thanks to Microsoft’s bulldozing approach to product placement and commercialization, Surface devices have appeared on the sidelines of the National Football League, various TV shows, classrooms around the world, and in the hands of artists, pilot’s, hotel staff and elsewhere.


Now, Microsoft can add local news reporting and election coverage to the list of venues where a Surface product gets exposure. A Seattle, WA affiliate of NBC called KING 5 will be visualizing primary night election data with Power BI on a Microsoft Surface Hub. KING 5 first introduced its audience to the Surface Hub three months ago as its go-to monitor for other news-related activities that include weather tracking and poll results.

Surface Hub in use at KING 5

The KING 5 is now planning to implement the Surface Hub as a “game-changing” interactive coverage tool during this Presidential Primary night. The details of the KING 5’s intended coverage include using the Surface Hub and Microsoft’s data visualization software Power BI to “transform election night coverage once again.”

Political reporter Natalie Brand of KING 5’s news coverage, will now be able to react, analyze and translate data results in real time with a level of detail unseen before. As for how the use of the Surface Hub and Power BI translate to KING 5’s viewership, viewers will not only see the results on screen, but KING 5 will be enabling a more interactive experience with the data at using Power BI’s ability to publish to the web.

You just don’t see this level of detail from local television stations. Until now, we didn’t have technology like Power BI on Surface Hub, and that makes collaboration very important. But what excites us most is what the viewers can take away; a clear picture of the civic process and how individual votes fit into the big picture.” -Peter O’ Connell, KING 5 Special Projects Producer.

While some may argue that seeing a Microsoft product on screen or in a television show seems forced or out of place, it seems real people with needs to real world solutions are finding uses for the company’s hardware beyond just being an identifiable placeholder.

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