Amidst a number of Microsoft announcements on Monday, September 30, is Delta Air Lines plan to use the Surface 2 in its 11,000 pilots' electronic flight bag (EFB). Delta plans to deploy the devices running Windows RT 8.1 by the end of 2014, which will provide an electronic replacement to the normal 35 to 40 pounds of paper documents and charts used previously.
In an interview with a Delta pilot, AppleInsider reports that the pilots are not pleased with the choice of the Surface 2 tablet over the iPad.
"We fought hard for iPad," a pilot working for the airline told AppleInsider. He described the Delta deal as being about money, travel contracts and Delta's Information Technology staff historically being " in bed" with Microsoft.
Delta's rollout of the Surface 2 to pilots is dependent on the FAA's approval of these tablets. Microsoft only announced the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 the week of September 23, so Delta plans "an extensive testing period onboard the Boeing 757 and Boeing 767," reports AppleInsider.
The Delta Surface 2 deployment announcement was joined by Microsoft also announcing new commercial Surface 2 use by other industries including financial services, healthcare, retail, hospitality and automotive, plus commercial availability of the Surface in seven new worldwide markets. In addition, business-specific apps are available in the Windows Store, and SAP and Omega Group have joined the AppsForSurface ISV Program, as reported by The Next Web.
Delta Airlines to distribute Surface 2 to pilots after iPad trial, AppleInsider, 9/27/13.
American Airlines finishes rolling out iPad flight bags, Engadget, 6/24/13.
Delta deploying 4500 Apple iPads at US airport restaurants, AppleInsider, 8/19/12.