A new report says that Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 tablet is being used more and more by pilots of commercial aircraft to replace the standard flight manuals.
Recently both Austrian Airlines and Lufthansa announced their pilots would start using the Surface Pro 3 in their cockpits, with their own flight software installed.. In an article on AINOnline, the author notes that some Surface Pro 3 models used by pilots have the Jeppesen FliteDeck pro software pre-installed. A version of the same application is available on the iPad. The article states:
There are differences between Jeppesen FliteDeck Pro on the Surface Pro 3 and the Apple iPad version, but functionally Jeppesen has kept the two versions similar so pilots familiar with one platform will adapt easily to the other. Two features on the iPad that are not on the Surface are weather data and own-ship position on approach charts, although the Surface version does allow own-ship display on airport diagrams. This sort of makes sense because airlines generally aren't allowed to use own-ship display on tablet-based EFBs in the air; for some reason regulators are squeamish about this feature.
A spokesperson for Jeppesen says they "will continue to harmonize capabilities between iOS and Windows 8 and we will also introduce capabilities unique to the Windows platform, such as taking advantage of a USB interface." The article adds that Jeppesen may release a stand alone Windows version of its FlightDeck Pro software for use by corporate jet pilots.