This week we took a glimpse into the future, with the news that major US airline Delta will be giving 11,000 of its pilots a Surface 2 tablet device to use on its planes.
It will make a big difference – stored on the tablets will be electronic documents, charts, navigational aids, checklists and other reference material, which was previously stored in heavy flight bags. Big cost savings on fuel and paper are expected.
Pilots will be able to use the devices to pull up navigational information and real-time updates through a touchscreen. The Surface 2 will be running Windows RT 8.1, which will soon be available to all.
This is a great example of how Windows 8.1 is necessary for the modern workplace – employees are becoming comfortable with touchscreen technology, and want to use the type of devices they have at home for work.
Back in August, Delta supplied 19,000 of its flight attendants the Nokia Lumia 820, running Windows Phone 8, for on-board payments. The Lumia was equipped with the Microsoft Dynamics for Retail mobile OS platform, and also ran Office and Outlook so attendants could keep connected.
It’s another way that popular consumer devices being taken up for use in the enterprise, and also hints at a future where smartphones and tablets are even more integrated into the day-to-day workings of a business.
With Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8, we’re ready.
Whilst on the topic of Air Travel, we have a #CloudPioneers Twitter Q&A event this Thursday (10th October) focused on Windows Azure. We will be tweeting live from within another Cloud Pioneer - Concorde at Brooklands, one of the first Concorde planes built and the first aircraft ever to carry 100 people at twice the speed of sound..
The Q&A will take place following the webcast on Windows Azure and IaaS by The Register with Matt from QA Training (synopsis here), and we are keen to encourage viewers to Tweet their questions during and after the session.
In terms of topics, as we’re following on from the webcast we’ll focus around Getting Started with Windows Azure and the recently released IaaS capabilities, although questions on any element of Azure and public cloud will be welcomed.