Delta Airlines and General Electric (GE) have both announced they will begin switching employees from Microsoft products to Apple devices. Delta staff will see Nokia handsets and Surface devices exchanged for iPhones and iPads, while GE will move to standardize iOS devices and Macs across its workforce.
Delta's move, in particular, is interesting, if not surprising given the state of Microsoft's mobile efforts. Throughout 2013 and 2014, the company equipped its flight attendants with Lumia 820s and 1520s, while its pilots were given Surface 2 tablets. In an internal email, initially reported by MacOS Ken, Delta informed employees that it will begin replacing devices with iPhone 7 Plus and iPad Pro. In a statement to Thurrott.com, Microsoft seemingly confirmed the move, stating:
We have a great partnership with Delta. The company decided, as part of its hardware refresh cycle, to standardize on a 10.5" form factor for its electronic flight bag. Delta continues to invest in and is using Microsoft productivity and business applications, including Dynamics and Office 365 across their operations and will continue to do so.
As for GE, the company has elected to make the move to iOS devices and Macs as part of a larger partnership with Apple. A major part of that partnership involves developing "powerful industrial IoT apps" with a new Predix software development kit for iOS. However, the move will also see GE working to "standardize on iPhone and iPad for mobile devices and also promote Mac as a choice for its global workforce of more than 330,000 employees."
In both cases, it's not hard to draw a line between the collapse of Microsoft's mobile efforts and the choice of both Delta and GE to make the move to another ecosystem. Recent comments from Microsoft's Corporate Vice President for Windows, Joe Belfiore, indicate that Windows phone as a platform, while still being serviced, is effectively dead at this point. And while Microsoft may have future plans for a "mobile" device of some sort, businesses can only go with what's available right now.
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