Microsoft to help Delta Airlines go digital, saving fuel with Surface 2 tablets

It's no secret that Microsoft's first generation of Windows 8 tablets haven not done as well as the company hoped. That said, the Surface 2 and Surface 2 Pro, which were both announced late last month are set to launch later in the year, both featuring new chips, improvements and appeal. To avoid experiencing Déjà vu, Microsoft will also be looking to partner with companies to help ship units, including Delta Airlines.

Both parties have announced a deal that will involve 11,000 Surface 2 tablets to replace heavy pilot flight bags.

You may now be wondering how exactly they plan on saving fuel with Windows 8 hardware, possibly assuming the absence of pilot bags will not affect the plane weight. You'd be wrong. That's exactly what Delta plans to do. The idea is to remove the 38-pound flight bags pilots' use, which are loaded with maps, charts, checklists and reference materials. All this information will be stored digitally on the Surface 2 tablets.

So how much fuel will the airline be saving exactly? According to a blog post by Delta Senior VP, Captain Steve Dickinson, the move will reduce duel consumption by 1.2 million gallons per year. This will lead to a 26 million pound reduction in annual emissions (the equivalent to taking a fair few vehicles off the road). It's not just the saving of fuel, though.

Dickinson also notes that the ability to run two apps side-by-side enables pilots to examine multiple sources of information at once (think weather conditions and navigation). This isn't the first time Microsoft and Delta have worked together either. Microsoft is currently looking to outfit 19,000 flight attendants with the Nokia Lumia 820 smartphone for in-flight services.

It's actually interesting Delta has gone with Microsoft's second-generation Surface hardware, especially since the tablets have not yet been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for cockpit use. The airline will be rolling the tablets out on 700 Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft, with the aim to complete the rollout and go paperless by 2014.

Via: CSMonitor; thanks, Atif, for the tip!

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • Yes! A score for MS. I fly Delta and look forward to seeing the flight attendants with the Lumias
  • I always fly a kite so this doesn't impact me
  • Hasn't this already been reported❔...
  • There were no details at the time. This time we have actual announcements. Which is why I reported it.
  • Must not fly often, I've already seen them using WP for transactions for the past couple months already.
  • 820s??? At least 920s...
  • Its a moderate choice, they won't be taking pictures of passengers when the lights are out. Would they?
  • Yes, they will be taking pictures when the lights go out.
  • Did you not see the part where they look to save on fuel costs by offloading some weight and not adding any..? lol ;p
  • LOL
  • I got a better idea, they should just get rid of bigger flight attendants and hire hot girls. While they're at it, have them go naked to reduce weight and give them all Lumias 1020s. Plus those skinny girls are of low self-esteem so they're not gonna eat as much thus reducing the weight of the food that gets loaded on the craft.
  • Maybe you should tell them your great idea / joke the next time when you board a plane. I would love to see a sexist doucebag being thrown off a plane.
  • Sexist??? You're crazy, you probably don't even have a girlfriend cause you're a geek. And if you do have one, then she's probably the one that wears the pants, in other words, she's got you by the balls. I, on the other hand, love woman.
  • You're obviously too thick to even understand what sexism is. Sexual desire for women does not equate respect and you show none in your previous comment. You're not doing much better in your new comment either. Seems you also have a problem with women in charge. And "geeks don't have girlfriends??" That basically shows how rude and ignorant you really are. Oh btw I don't have any balls for anyone to "get". Bye-bye.
  • Didn't you guys post this awhile ago? Because this news is old.
  • yeah i think that post was just saying Delta was planning on using sufaces but didn't mention anything more specific than that 
  • That's what I've been saying❕❕❕❕
  • The original story was based on a leak to Paul Thurrott. This story comes from the official MS/Delta press release.
  • I fly Delta and all the flights I've been on the attendants already updated to using 820. I had my 920 on tray and an attendant said "hey that's what we use" (Don't say it, average person wouldn't know difference between 8\920). I asked how she liked it and she said it was confusing. Hope that's a minority view...
  • ...and you didn't offer to help her. *smh* tsk tsk =P
  • Ha I started to and she had to go put cart up
  • Also could be the app they use for possessing payment hopefully that's what she was talking about. I think it was made just for Delta.
  • The app isn't bad, just different from iOS\Android style her and most of world used to. From what I saw of app when I had to sign for meal, its pretty nicely done WP app.
  • I'm actually surprised that the surface 2 is doing so well... Oh and the move will reduce fuel consumption, not duel consumption. Anyhow, I might consider getting a surface 2 for the Christmas, but I dint know if it can beat my 750gb Intel i7 processor laptop.
  • maybe in battery life and weight it'll beat it lol
  • 750gb? don't have much space so you? 2tb at a bare minimum.
  • I would have to have my DVR record more HDTV than I even have time to watch just to fill up 300GB. My entire media library of saved shows/movies takes up under 100GB. Enough music to play for days sits at 30GB photos: another 50GB. I could back up both PCs, my Xbox, Zune 120, Zune HD, and 2 phones onto a terrabyte WITH the numerous duplicates. 750GB to many is like having the pacific ocean for a row boat.
  • My only thing with possibly upgrading to the new surface 2 rt is that its not black anymore which matches my PC and 920. I love my first Gen rt though. Matches perfectly. The current kick stand works for me too. An I still about 4 full movies and some internet surfacing per charge. So I can't complain. ( Avg 2 hour movie.)
  • I don't think surface 2 "RT" will be dark if I read one of the articles correctly. I was very sad as I prefer my laptops, tablets, & phones to be dark in color.
  • Surface 2 also comes in super dark grey just like the original surface...
  • Like ticom said, I believe surface 2 comes in black and white.
  • ...because w8 works! One device is all you'll need for both work and play. Touch computing is the future. MS has just opened the door for both tablet and PC. Thanks to MS, we will see a "Minority Report, Oblivion," type world.
  • I know you meant the film, but wouldn't you rather Elder Scrolls..? lol =P
  • Just not both. Would be hard to differentiate between "Copy" and "Fireball" gestures. (Or better: "Burn DVD"!)
  • Lets hope there will be no blue screen case in emergency. Hehehe. But seriously, Surface is a great tablet, my RT never shown any blue screen since I bought it.
  • I haven't seen a blue screen on Windows since XP.
  • I have seen it on corporatized Win7 Enterprise. So sad the admins really have no clue.
  • I am not worried about the blue screen but the fact that the pilots will be playing Asphalt 7 or Halo multilayer. Good luck passengers.
  • And we already know they fly drunk. So gaming and flying we are in trouble ;P
  • Nah, that's a iOS feature now
  • It really is nice they're going with the surface. I guess this will force the FAA to say they're alright a lot quicker than they would have (they probably never would have, otherwise). I only wish where I fly they'd let us use electronic pubs bags in the cockpit, because as it is, planning and everything is so easy, but once it's time to actually do it, everyone's scrambling to find which page to do what, and switching books with pages flying and everything.
    Like I said on the previous article, I hope this leads to more aviation specific apps and that Delta won't only use proprietary software.
  • "fuel consumption", not "duel consumption". :)
  • Let's hope for no duels on the planes.
  • LOL
  • DELL has introduced powerful new competitive tablets w/quad core Bay Trail processors, will give Surface Pro 2 a run. Priced right too!
  • Delta video.
  • I flew Delta twice in the last week and made a purchase from the Flight Attendant both times. They had the Lumias. If you ask for a receipt, they ask if emailing it is okay. if it is, they hand the phone to you, to enter your email address. The phone is very nice.