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back to article Microsoft Surface 2 fondleslabs finally get off ground with airline order

How many of Microsoft's ARM-powered Surface 2 fondleslabs has it sold so far during the presale period leading up to the tablet's October 22 launch? At least 11,000, as it turns out, because that's how many were snapped up by US passenger carrier Delta Air Lines. "Delta is rolling out these new tablets to replace the traditional …

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Anonymous Coward

"How many of Microsoft's ARM-powered Surface 2 fondleslabs has it sold so far..."

If "sold" means "I'll pay you to use these tablets", then 11,000.

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Anonymous Coward

I'd rather have a paper flight plan, note book and pencil, paper charts, and an updated Pooleys rather than a Surface on my lap. Nothing to break and nothing that will run out.

Yes I'm a Luddite.

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LDS
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Maybe, but if you're a big ariline and have to pay for paper updates every AIRAC cycle (28-56) days, the savings using an EFB (Electronic Flight Bag) are huge.

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Anonymous Coward

How do you feel about fly by wire? That said, a real Luddite wouldn't get in a plane in the first place. (technically shunning technology isn't being a Luddite per se, the Luddites were more about protecting their skilled jobs from automation.)

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I'm not a luddite, however I would note that all of my Disaster Recovery/BCM plans are printed out and stored in paper folders. I suspect other IT professionals do the same on the basis that in a disaster you simply can't count on your documentation being retrievable from computers.

While it might save a lot of money on reissuing paper documents, I can't help but feel that certain things are best stored as a reassuring lump of paper irrespective of cost because paper is pretty failure resistant to a user leaving it turned on and running the batteries flat.

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Not to mention....

All the ease of carrying a tablet vs fat wadges of dead wood.

As a breed, pilots are getting older and back strain carrying flight bags is a major deal.

Some airlines already use iPads, but MS devices make more sense. Nobody will steal them.

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HMB

Temptation Vs Apathy (Side order of spectacle)

For Delta it all seems like a good deal, but for Microsoft?

I've already got an HP Touchpad that runs Android that I barely use. Though it would be tempting to use Windows 8 in an environment (touchscreen) that it was actually designed to work in. Ahhh who am I kidding, I wont use it, it's hardly like I can run the iPlayer radio app on it.

Maybe what I need is the Surface X Pro (where X is whatever number). It's got some exciting specs and the idea of being able to run all that PC software on it is quite tantalising. I'll just wait a bit longer for one with a decent sized screen and perhaps an integrated keyboard. If only I could get my hands on one of those now. Though with those added extras it certainly would have to be more expensive than a Surface X Pro.

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Re: Temptation Vs Apathy (Side order of spectacle)

"I'll just wait a bit longer for one with a decent sized screen and perhaps an integrated keyboard. If only I could get my hands on one of those now."

You just essentially described a touchscreen "ultrabook".

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Pro ads

"TV ads featured young people dancing around, snapping and unsnapping their tablets from their colorful keyboard covers."

The Pro ad was the same, just set in a boardroom.

http://youtu.be/l2KPQNP1Z1s

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Anonymous Coward

Pity the pilots didn't get a say

The author didn't mention that pilot apparently are not happy with this deal. Read here

http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/09/30/delta-pilots-fought-against-deal-to-replace-ipad-flight-bags-with-microsoft-surface

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One division in my company were given ipads so that they could track sales meetings etc whilst out and about. Due to the very shoddy software provided it kept locating them in Colorado and China, when there were actually in Colchester and Chester (or so they say).

So after a year the ipads were taken away and replaced with Android tabs that have worked beautifully. But the removal of the fruity ones fondleslabs was accompanied by much moaning and bleeting, not because they thought the iPad was a better bit of kit, they just happened to have installed all of their iPhone tat on there also.

So I very much doubt that the good folks at Delta think the iPad to be the finest tablet out there. It's just that they don't want to lose their progress on Angry Birds.

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LDS
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Re: Pity the pilots didn't get a say

Yes, how could they show off with the flight attendants otherwise? "Would you come to my hotel room to play wth my iPad" is more alluring then "play with my Surface"....

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Re: Pity the pilots didn't get a say

I often ask the laydees if they'd like to come back to my office and stroke my android.

I'm sure this is unrelated, but I seem to be getting a lot of letters from HR talking about sexual harassment lately, too.

Oh well. It's almost as bad as that time I was using Thinkpads and offering to train the lads on how to use it, by showing them how I touched my tracknub. All I did was ask if they wanted to see me play with my blue nipple....

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Re: Pity the pilots didn't get a say - Steven Raith

Lots of letters from HR? I'm sure they're just trying to raise awareness....

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Thumb Up

Re: Pity the pilots didn't get a say - Steven Raith

They can raise my awareness any time.

*letterbox flaps*

*reads sender address*

Aw...goddamnit!

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Re: Pity the pilots didn't get a say

You really believe what appleinsider says, wow, you must have been born yesterday.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Re: Pity the pilots didn't get a say

Mr iTard, the Delta pilot said glowingly about their choice of Surface "We need an inflight solution, not just a document reader". You clearly know nothing about the airline business, the Surface is significantly better at integrating into their workflows than the iPad.

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I work in an avionics business and am aware of the popular use by pilots and crew of the Ipad without any promotions from Apple. Commercial and civli aviation pilots have been using the ipads for backup navigation, weather, ADSB, aircraft checklists, manuals etc.

The Delta deal to use the MS Surface devices should be interesting.

This story sounds like an MS PR move, and I wonder how many Delta crew members are going to give up their Ipads.

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If Delta requires flight staff to use M$, then they will use M$. They may also bring along their own iPads in addition. Since the iPad was the first device to gain approvals, developers have come up with some excellent apps for the market and the iPad has a healthy head start.

I haven't seen the ADSB implementation. I'll have to check that out this week.

I'm going to guess that Delta is getting a kickback in some form from M$.

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Anonymous Coward

Backup navigation and ADS-B? On an iPad? How could it send and receive ADS-B data?

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ADS-B iPad app

I have no idea what ADS-B is, but even I know how I can do this.

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LDS
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Re: ADS-B iPad app

As I guessed, that's just a receiver. It can't transmit data. ADS-B it's a technology for receiving other planes position and transmitting its own. It's a bit useless otherwise, because you can see other aircrafts as long as they transmit their data also (sure radar data are also fed into the system, but ADS-B is a "cooperative" system).

Not sure either if a receiver mounted with a suction cup and an iPad mounted somehow are better than a built in ADS-B MFD. After all that receiver receives, processes and relies data over Wi-Fi - it could be adapted to any other device. Anyway this a cheaper albeit limited solution for sure, given the prices of aviation hardware.

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at least

they wont end up splattered on a runaway

the lumia 820 will direct the to the airport correctly and not onto runaway

I doubt it is much more than they have the system already developed and

putting it on surface is a no brainer. and far easier without having to develop

for multiple platforms completely from scratch.

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The iPads are great as cockpit document readers but clearly Delta are more forward thinking than that. The Delta pilot in their video said on their choice of Surface "We need an inflight solution, not just a document reader". Airline workflows and systems are complex so it appears that MS can offer something more than the iPad.

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Presumably

They'll have to turn them off before landing, right?

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Re: Presumably

Wrong just the wifi etc.

Its what flight mode is for.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/09/30/tablets_for_take_off_within_six_months/

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Joke

Re: Presumably

Pardon me, my sense of humour is not showing. I should have included -->

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Sadly for Delta the iPad is approved for use as a digital flight bag, whereas the Surface 2 is not.

Apparently the cost of waiting for approval will cost Delta an extra $20m in fuel costs (for the heavy non-digital flight bags) over using the iPad today. Which is more than the $5.5m cost of the devices.

This really stinks of kickbacks and corporate schmoozing. Or a Microsoft-only infected IT department.

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Anonymous Coward

From a very quick Internet search the MS article about this says:

"Delta expects to receive approval from the FAA to use the tablets during all phases of flight next year, a process that follows an extensive period of testing on board Boeing 757 and Boeing 767 aircraft. Approvals for all fleet types are expected by the end of the year. "

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They're going to request approval following testing due to be completed by the end of the year. By the time that the FAA have signed it off (and that is by no means guaranteed) then you're looking at at least 6 months elapsed. Then they have to roll them out. The iPad is already approved and available now. That's a difference of at least 3.25 million sheets of paper and 600,000 gallons of fuel (@ roughly $6/gallon) taking the numbers from the article.

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I had 2 android tablets, and 1 ipad before I got my surface RT, the ipad was next to useless for anything work related, the android tablets could do some stuff but essentially didn't gets used ( like yours ) because they were more annoying to use than to get up and uwait for a desktop PC to turn on. ( ok I went somewhere once where I needed a gps and it was good except it didn't last the journey as the battery got drained having to be on wifi tethered to my phone and using gps. )

However the surface RT has allowed me to not lug around my giant laptop anymore, the laptop is now a desktop as it stays docked always, the tablet has become my mobile workstation and is hugely productive.

As for using the iplayer app ... err .. it doesn't need one, I just go to the iplayer website and view the full content using the built in browser, the reason ios needs so many apps is because its browser is severely limited in what it can do, the surface has a great browser and many of these "must have" apps like facebook etc are not required because you can pin the page to your start screen and instead of a limited app that you have to learn how to use, you get the full website.

People are such sheep these days, they hear some press and marketing propaganda and go about repeating it verbatim

lol if you think MS paid delta to use their tablets, no doubt they got a great deal on them, but I suspect you could too if you rang up and said you want 11000.

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Have an up-vote!

Now we have an RT in the house I couldn't imagine having to put up with a less capable tablet.

Perhaps Microsoft could addopt the tag-line"You won't need an app for that"

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instead of a limited app that you have to learn how to use, you get the full website.

The "full website" that doesn't have useful featues of a native app, such as storing content offline to view when an internet connection isnt present.

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You forgot....

....the joke alert icon.

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Anonymous Coward

product usage rights

product usage rights used to say you couldn't use windows for aviation, critical medical purposes, nuclear, etc - something to do with the need for reliability

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Re: product usage rights

More to do with MS not getting sued if a plane lands on a nuclear power station and someone's pacemaker goes into overdrive.

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Re: product usage rights

this is only one example of windows in use in military aviation....

I think you will find windows in a LOT of critical environments - Warships, missile systems, medical imaging......

other OS's are used too... but there isn't a blanket ban on windows, which is a perfectly useable and stable platform when trimmed and managed properly

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Re: product usage rights

here was my forgotten link to military aviation computers for windows...

http://www.bes.co.il/products.htm

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Pint

Re: product usage rights

M_P666: "I think you will find windows in a LOT of critical environments - Warships, ..."

You mean Windows-for-Warships? Hardly a good counter-example to prove how reliable Windows can be in a critical environment. It actually proves the opposite point. The first UK-built Windows boat experienced a complete PC shut-down within minutes upon entering its very first sea trial exercise. It took them 20 minutes to turn it back on again. Sitting duck. FAIL.

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LDS
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Re: product usage rights

The issue is OSX has no real server edition... but for SOHO.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: product usage rights

@JeffPooh: a couple of points:

1) It was a ship, not a boat.

2) It wasn't commissioned, by definition it was still having the bugs worked out of it. That's what sea trials are for. You wouldn't write of a whole ship if the engine failed during initial sea trials, you'd fix it and carry on.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: product usage rights

"I think you will find windows in a LOT of critical environments - Warships, missile systems, medical imaging......"

No, you wouldn't. Having worked in the defence industry for more years than I care to remember I can emphatically state that I have only once seen Windows used as an OS in any critical system; a very badly made early days battlefield HUD system that made use of WfWG3.11, kept going into reset and had to be rebooted every 20 minutes. I think the accepted practice when met with MoD/USDoD requests along the lines of "Can't you use Windows?" is to put a Windows sticker on the package but to make sure that the OS is one that actually works.

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Dr?

Re: product usage rights

Microsoft fail or Royal Navy fail? It would still be less of a sitting duck than an aircraft carrier with no aircraft.

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How soon they forget

"I think you will find windows in a LOT of critical environments - Warships, "

USS Yorktown was towed back to port multiple times due to software glitches.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Yorktown_%28CG-48%29

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11,000 units - that is about a day's worth of iPad sales - go Microsoft! And of course Android has recently surpassed iOS in tablet sales. So as with mobile we MS fighting off Blackberry for the bottom 2%.

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Not even a days worth. If I've got my math correct then they are currently selling about 46,500 per day.

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ve have many vays of kontrolling you

Quite obviously, employees are locked out of messing it up.

Sadly the lifetime paywall experience is no no for those of us used to better.

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Re: ve have many vays of kontrolling you

that's the thing... you cant stop an employee from messing up an ipad... just go to the settings and remove the profile...

a device used in a mission critical operation - like a flight deck needs to be locked down. The tablet is not a personal entertainment device for bored pilots, its an electronic manual... its no fun when a plane is falling through the sky, your running through your emergency procedure when a words with friends request comes in and instead of looking at glide configuration, your greeted with a scrabble board!

saying that, im not sure if 8RT cant be controlled with Group policy, but I believe 8.1RT can

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Re: ve have many vays of kontrolling you

Wrong, you can lock down an iOS device with corporate settings that prevent changes etc.

See http://help.apple.com/configurator/mac/1.3/#cadbf9e668

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