Microsoft's Surface 2 takes off with 11,000 Delta pilots

Delta plans to equip Boeing 757 and Boeing 767 pilots with the Surface 2 this year, and then go completely paperless by the end of 2014.

Microsoft Surface 2 in Delta Air Lines cockpit
Delta Air Lines plans to equip 11,000 pilots with Microsoft Surface 2 tablets. Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines has decided to jump on Microsoft's Surface bandwagon.

Delta will deploy the Surface 2 to 11,000 pilots by the end of 2014, the airline and Microsoft announced Monday. The airline will equip Boeing 757 and Boeing 767 pilots with the Surface 2 later this year, and will roll it out to all other cockpits by the end of 2014.

Rather than opt for the Surface 2 Pro, Delta has decided to invest in the Windows RT-based Surface 2. The slates will run on Windows RT 8.1 and come with apps the pilots need to complete their jobs, including carts, reference documents, and checklists, Microsoft said. Delta expects to save $13 million per year in fuel and other costs by using the Surface 2.

For Microsoft, the adoption of the Surface 2, in large numbers, for use by pilots is surely a significant customer win. For Delta, the move is a chance to applaud some expected cost savings -- the airline says use of the tablets will allow it to cut 7.5 million sheets of paper per year and reduce fuel consumption by 1.2 million gallons annually.

Before Delta can use the Surface 2 for all phases of the flight process, the company needs to get Federal Aviation Administration approval. According to Microsoft, Delta expects to receive full approval from the FAA to use the Surface 2 on all devices and flight phases sometime next year.

Microsoft Surface 2 in Delta Air Lines cockpit
Delta's adoption of the 'Surface 2 Electronic Flight Bag' will put an end to paper-based manuals in the cockpit. Delta Air Lines

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET

Last-minute gift ideas

Under pressure? These will deliver on time

With plenty of top-notch retailers offering digital gifts, you still have time to salvage your gift-giving reputation.