Enable Microsoft Whiteboard on Surface Hub

Note: This article applies only to customers who use Microsoft Whiteboard on a Surface Hub display.

Microsoft Whiteboard is a new version of the existing app that was installed on Surface Hub and is pinned to the Welcome screen. The new version of Whiteboard has many new capabilities — including persisted whiteboards, enhanced collaboration, and support for Windows, iOS, and Web platforms. Organizations can choose to test the new version now, and then decide when to do a rollout. 

To ensure that users and IT administrators know which application is installed, the original, existing version will be renamed to “Microsoft Whiteboard 2016.” The newest and most current version is called “Microsoft Whiteboard.”

What are the differences between the existing app on Surface Hub (“Microsoft Whiteboard 2016“) and the new version (“Microsoft Whiteboard”)?

The new version includes many requested capabilities, including:

  • Cloud-backed persistence of whiteboards in Microsoft Azure, so users can create multiple boards, which are automatically saved.

  • Support for Windows 10 and Windows 10S PCs, iOS devices, and a Web App (Preview).

  • Enhanced collaboration, including inviting or revoking access to specific users and presence bubbles to see who is actively working on the board.

  • Canvas features, including sticky text notes, local images, stacks, velocity eraser, and more.

Note: The cloud service for the new version of Microsoft Whiteboard does not yet include some Enterprise features that may be required by some organizations. See “What compliance and global standards does the new version support?” in the next section below.

When is Microsoft retiring “Microsoft Whiteboard 2016” on Surface Hub?

  • Beginning on July 1, 2019, the existing “Microsoft Whiteboard” app will be automatically upgraded to the new version. 

  • As of July 1, 2019, the legacy “Microsoft Whiteboard 2016” app will no longer be supported, and the collaboration service will stop functioning.

    No further action is required unless automatic updates for the Microsoft Store app have been disabled.

Will the existing Whiteboard app automatically be upgraded on Surface Hubs?

Yes. This will happen beginning on July 1, 2019. No further action is required unless automatic updates for the Microsoft Store app have been disabled.

For customers who remain on the legacy “Whiteboard 2016“ application, please note that the collaboration service will stop functioning as of July 1, 2019 and that no further updates will be made to the legacy app. 

Where is the data stored for the new version?

Starting in late May, the new version of Whiteboard will store data at rest in Microsoft Azure’s United States or West Europe regions, depending on the region of the tenant. Additional regions are on our future roadmap.

Will the cloud image for Surface Hub be updated?

The version of Microsoft Whiteboard on the cloud image (used when restoring a Surface Hub, for example) will be updated to the latest version in the July – August 2019 time frame.

What compliance and global standards does the new version support?

The service supports:

  • Compliance standards including SOC 1, SOC 2, ISO 27001, HIPAA, EU Model Clauses, and DSR requests.

  • The service stores data in Azure’s US or West Europe regions, depending on the region of the tenant, for all content created as of June 4, 2019. Previously created whiteboards will be migrated over the next few months.

The service does not yet support some features, which are on the roadmap:

  • Additional regions for data residency.

  • eDiscovery, retention policies, sovereign and government cloud support.

How can I roll out the new version prior to May 2019?

With the Surface Hub update from October 2018, you now have the option to remove the original app (“Microsoft Whiteboard 2016”) and set the new app (“Microsoft Whiteboard”) as the default for Surface Hub.

Before you begin:

  • Make sure you have the October 2018 update for Surface Hub installed (see KB4462939 (OS Build 15063.1418)) and that your Surface Hub OS version is 10.0.15063.1418.

  • Make sure you have Microsoft Intune and Microsoft Store for Business configured to push apps. You should see “Microsoft Whiteboard 2016“ and “Microsoft Whiteboard” in your Client apps list. If these are not listed, go to Shop for my group and acquire offline licenses for both Microsoft Whiteboard 2016 and Microsoft Whiteboard.

To begin deploying the new Whiteboard app (“Microsoft Whiteboard”) to all Surface Hubs, do the following:

  1. Go to the Azure portal, and then select All services > Intune.

    (Intune is located in the Monitoring + Management section.)

  2. On the Intune menu, select Client apps.

  3. In the Manage section of the menu, select Apps.

  4. In the Apps pane, select Microsoft Whiteboard.

  5. In the Manage section of the menu, select Assignments, and then select Add Group.

  6. For the Assignment type, choose Required.

  7. For Included Groups, choose your preferred group, and then set the License Type to Device Licensing.

  8. In the Add group pane, select OK.

  9. In the Assignments pane, select Save.

To remove the original Whiteboard app (“Microsoft Whiteboard”), do the following:

  1. In the Apps pane, select Microsoft Whiteboard 2016.

  2. In the Manage section of the menu, select Assignments, and then select Add Group.

  3. For the Assignment type, choose Uninstall.

  4. For Included Groups, choose your preferred group, and set the License Type to Device Licensing

  5. In the Add group pane, select OK.

  6. In the Assignments pane, select Save.

To finish, manually initiate a sync from Intune or from the Surface Hub, or you can wait for the next automatic sync cycle. The old app (“Microsoft Whiteboard 2016”) will be removed, and the new app (“Microsoft Whiteboard”) will be the new default app.

Is there any way to roll out the new version without using Intune?

You can enroll the device in the Windows Insider Program. The Release Preview ring provides an option to receive fixes, applications and drivers only. This will get slightly faster updates of Whiteboard and other apps.

To opt into Whiteboard using Release Preview:

  • On your Surface Hub, go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Insider Program, and click Get Started.

  • Follow the steps to opt the device into the Windows Insider Program, making sure to choose Just fixes, apps and drivers. Within 24 hours, you should see the new Whiteboard app as the default.

  • If you have previously installed the new Whiteboard app on the device, you should uninstall it.

Can I use the new version in on-premises or sovereign cloud environments?

The new version can be used in a local, anonymous-only mode (whiteboards are not persisted and there’s no collaboration support).

In addition, the new version supports exporting whiteboards as .png files only.

What file format export does the new version support?

The new version supports exporting whiteboards as .png files. There is no .one file export.

See Also

Microsoft Whiteboard Help

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