In October, Microsoft announced a major success in its quest to get enterprises to buy its Windows 8 Surface tablet instead of Apple’s iPad.
Delta Air Lines agreed to buy 11,000 Surface 2 tablets for pilots. It is also buying 19,000 Nokia Lumia 820 Windows Phones, equipped with credit card readers, to be used by flight attendants as a cash register when passengers buy food and drinks.
The Surface tablets will be rolled out on all flights by May, the company says. Delta hopes to make all of its cockpits paperless by the end of the year, Microsoft told Business Insider.
Tablets in the cockpit are nothing new, but other airlines are choosing iPads, or, in some cases, Samsung Galaxy tablets. American Airline for instance, has deployed 33,000 tablets including iPads and Galaxy Notes, it says.
Bloomberg journalist Olivia Sterns interviewed a Delta pilot Captain Karen Ruth and asked if she’d rather have an iPad.
The pilot said she’s happy with the Surface. “It’s sleek. It’s got a gorgeous display. You can split the screens. It’s lightweight,” Ruth said.
Best of all, the tablet replaces 38 pounds worth of paper charts and manuals that pilots carry onto every flight. That will save the company $US13 million worth of fuel costs, Sterns reports.
Here’s what the tablet looks like in a Delta cockpit.