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Delta Pilots fought against deal to replace iPad flight bags with Microsoft Surface

post #1 of 162
Thread Starter 
Microsoft's marketing coup in selling Delta Airlines its Surface 2 tablet for use as an Electronic Flight Bag in place of Apple's iPad created friction with the company's pilots, who "fought hard" against the deal.

growl


"We fought hard for iPad," a pilot working for the airline told AppleInsider. He described the Delta deal as being about money, travel contracts, and Delta's Information Technology staff historically being "in bed" with Microsoft.

Delta began trials with Apple's iPad as an EFB in late 2011, shortly after the Federal Aviation Administration approved Apple's tablet for cockpit use. It further began purchasing thousands of iPads for use in its airport restaurants last year."We fought hard for iPad" - Delta pilot

This makes it surprising that the company just announced plans to use the "Surface 2" devices Microsoft just unveiled, particularly because the company says it only plans to be "fully operational within two years."

American Airlines fully deployed iPad in all cockpits during all phases of flight in June of this year, a program involving 8,000 devices.

An expensive wait on Microsoft



Delta's conservative rollout plans may be related to the fact that the Surface 2 apparently hasn't yet been studied for use as a EFB. There's no mention of the device in the FAA's authorization documents. [Update: PCMag stated "Delta expects to receive approval from the FAA to use the tablets during all phases of flight next year. That approval will follow an extensive testing period onboard the Boeing 757 and Boeing 767. Approvals for all fleet types are expected by the end of the year."]

One FAA requirement for EFB devices specifically states, "if a touch screen is used, it must be evaluated for ease of operation. The touch screen must be responsive and not require multiple attempts to make a selection, but not be so sensitive that erroneous selections occur." Touch performance on the Surface played a significant factor in its poor reviews.

A report by the Wall Street Journal said Delta estimates it will save $13 million in fuel costs by moving to EFBs, so delaying the transition from paper by two years for the Surface 2 could cost the airline $20 million or more, far more than the roughly $5.5 million the tablets would actually cost.

Delta's deal for Surface 2 EFBs was publicized alongside the "equipping" of 19,000 flight attendants with Lumia Windows Phones, another Microsoft product that isn't selling well. Nearly three years ago, Dell announced plans to adopt 25,000 Windows Phone 7 devices the month after Microsoft launched its new WP7 platform.

JetBlue
JetBlue's iPad EFB.


The move appeared to account for many of the WP7 phones that eventually sold, but didn't benefit Dell's struggling operations or enable either company to make headway into the mobile market.

It's also unlikely that Microsoft will still be selling the "Surface 2" model two years from now, when Delta completes rolling out its EFB program. However, Microsoft is desperately in need of good press for its hybrid-tablet after having been unable to sell the product in volume and being forced to take a charge against earrings of $800 million in the last quarter.

Microsoft had tried to unload its unsold Surface inventory on schools, but even fire sale pricing couldn't move the inventory. Last month, it began dumping the devices on education for free, calling it "Bing for Schools" program in an effort to compete against Google for free search traffic.
post #2 of 162

Looks like no one wants a Zune tablet. Even when given to them for free.

post #3 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Microsoft's marketing coup in selling Delta Airlines its Surface 2 tablet for use as an Electronic Flight Bag in place of Apple's iPad created friction with the company's pilots, who "fought hard" against the deal.
 
growl


"We fought hard for iPad," a pilot working for the airline told AppleInsider. He described the Delta deal as being about money, travel contracts, and Delta's Information Technology staff historically being "in bed" with Microsoft.

Delta began trials with Apple's iPad as an EFB in late 2011, shortly after the Federal Aviation Administration approved Apple's tablet for cockpit use. It further began purchasing thousands of iPads for use in its airport restaurants last year."We fought hard for iPad" - Delta pilot

This makes it surprising that the company just announced plans to use the "Surface 2" devices Microsoft just unveiled, particularly because the company says it only plans to be "fully operational within two years."

American Airlines fully deployed iPad in all cockpits during all phases of flight in June of this year, a program involving 8,000 devices.
 

An expensive wait on Microsoft



Delta's conservative rollout plans may be related to the fact that the Surface 2 apparently hasn't yet been studied for use as a EFB. There's no mention of the device in the FAA's authorization documents.

One FAA requirement for EFB devices specifically states, "if a touch screen is used, it must be evaluated for ease of operation. The touch screen must be responsive and not require multiple attempts to make a selection, but not be so sensitive that erroneous selections occur." Touch performance on the Surface played a significant factor in its poor reviews.

A report by the Wall Street Journal said Delta estimates it will save $13 million in fuel costs by moving to EFBs, so delaying the transition from paper by two years for the Surface 2 could cost the airline $20 million or more, far more than the roughly $5.5 million the tablets would actually cost.

Delta's deal for Surface 2 EFBs was publicized alongside the "equipping" of 19,000 flight attendants with Lumia Windows Phones, another Microsoft product that isn't selling well. Nearly three years ago, Dell announced plans to adopt 25,000 Windows Phone 7 devices the month after Microsoft launched its new WP7 platform.

The move appeared to account for many of the WP7 phones that eventually sold, but didn't benefit Dell's struggling operations or enable either company to make headway into the mobile market.

It's also unlikely that Microsoft will still be selling the "Surface 2" model two years from now, when Delta completes rolling out its EFB program. However, Microsoft is desperately in need of good press for its hybrid-tablet after having been unable to sell the product in volume and being forced to take a charge against earrings of $800 million in the last quarter.

Microsoft had tried to unload its unsold Surface inventory on schools, but even fire sale pricing couldn't move the inventory. Last month, it began dumping the devices on education for free, calling it "Bing for Schools" program in an effort to compete against Google for free search traffic.

 

Well, I'm glad the Delta Pilots have some sense, even if their management seems lacking in that area and apparently prefers buying Microsoft products (whatever the quality).  "Hey who could get fired for going with Microsoft"?  And I thought it was 2013 rather than the corporate IBM-dominated '60s . . .

post #4 of 162
The CIO and the rest of IT at Delta are idiots. MS puppets. And now they've ticked off the pilots. I think I'll fly an airline where the pilots aren't ticked off at their own company.
post #5 of 162
talk about desperation on MS's part. Wow. Just wow.
post #6 of 162
I imagine they are having a serious problem up there, and the pilot starts looking in the manual, and it goes BOOM and shows a blue screen. BSOD.
post #7 of 162

When this story first appeared last week, I was really surprised that the pilots would go along with this.

 

Now the truth comes out. Delta-Ugh!

post #8 of 162

Did another Elop become CEO of Delta? 

post #9 of 162

I'll bet Delta's IT staff are personally heavily invested in $MSFT. Such conflicts of interest should be reason enough to recuse oneself from the voting.

post #10 of 162

I'm not surprised that the pilots wanted the to use the absolute best device available (iPad), but Microsoft apparently made some sort of deal with Delta so that Microsoft could sell their flop of a tablet to Delta.

 

Needless to say, I would never fly with a penny pinching airline that is so out of touch with reality and puts public safety at risk.

 

This reminds me of a recent TV show that I was watching, "Under the Dome". I saw numerous Windows phones and Surface tablets in that TV series. The way that they were featured was so in your face and so obvious, that it could only have been a paid product placement by Microsoft. It was totally unrealistic to see a product that is a certified flop pop up all over a TV show, but that hardly anybody uses in real life.

post #11 of 162

Keep in mind people M$ keeps lots of IT folks in a job, in Indian that is. We all know IT has always hated Apple since it just works and does not need masses of cheap labor unable to answer your questions when things do not work.

 

Face it M$ products are a job program for countries like Indian.

post #12 of 162
Inevitable headline: Surface Keeps Flights Grounded.
Edited by akqies - 9/30/13 at 3:13pm
post #13 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumergo View Post
 

 

Well, I'm glad the Delta Pilots have some sense, even if their management seems lacking in that area and apparently prefers buying Microsoft products (whatever the quality).  "Hey who could get fired for going with Microsoft"?  And I thought it was 2013 rather than the corporate IBM-dominated '60s . . .

There is no need to quote the entire article, it is already listed above.

Please update the AppleInsider app to function in landscape mode.

Reply

Please update the AppleInsider app to function in landscape mode.

Reply
post #14 of 162

Do you still think I'm pretty?

post #15 of 162
dont worry the pilots can always stop in mid air and reboot . a new meaning t "the blue screen of death"
post #16 of 162
"You are now free to move about the cabin. And operate electronic devices. And if anyone has an iPad the captain could borrow for the flight, he sure would appreciate it."
>>< drow ><<
Reply
>>< drow ><<
Reply
post #17 of 162

On a similar note I recently went to see the doctor and the staff had MS Surfaces. I asked the nurse what she thought of them and she said they'd tried hard to lobby for iPads. I would have thought that with a keyboard suppled the Surface would have been a better experience for data entry, but it seemed sooo clunky. Basically just a windows app running on a small screen.

post #18 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post
 

There is no need to quote the entire article, it is already listed above.

 

Agreed. People who do that are just damn lazy. Quote a line or two, if you must quote, but don't quote the whole god damned article, especially when it's a bit long.

post #19 of 162

post #20 of 162
😂 MS you so suck!
post #21 of 162
I'm surprised Delta would even go out on a limb like this and state they're making the switch, without first getting clearance from the FAA and second, having operational devices with which to do initial testing.

Seems like this has the potential to really go badly for both MS and Delta - should the device not get clearance from the FAA and/or the device not work similarly to the iPad.
post #22 of 162

Point taken.

post #23 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post
 

 

Agreed. People who do that are just damn lazy. Quote a line or two, if you must quote, but don't quote the whole god damned article, especially when it's a bit long.

Sigh.

All right already you guys, I got it!  Everyone makes a typing mistake sometimes.  Quit the ad hominem attacks and relax a little, we're all grown-ups here aren't we?

;-)

post #24 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post
 

Needless to say, I would never fly with a penny pinching airline that is so out of touch with reality and puts public safety at risk.

 

This reminds me of a recent TV show that I was watching, "Under the Dome". I saw numerous Windows phones and Surface tablets in that TV series. The way that they were featured was so in your face and so obvious, that it could only have been a paid product placement by Microsoft. It was totally unrealistic to see a product that is a certified flop pop up all over a TV show, but that hardly anybody uses in real life.

You remind me of all the "futuristic" (hah!) movies that feature characters who smoke, no doubt funded by the tobacco companies. Talk about putting the public safety at risk! Movie producers should be absolutely ashamed of their promoting tobacco use.

post #25 of 162
Quote:
 "if a touch screen is used, it must be evaluated for ease of operation. The touch screen must be responsive and not require multiple attempts to make a selection, but not be so sensitive that erroneous selections occur."

Looks to me as if the FAA has too much time on their hands. Why does government have to get into this level of detail for this device? 

post #26 of 162
Finally the truth comes out.
Old (IT) habits (MS) die hard.
post #27 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tao Jones View Post

dont worry the pilots can always stop in mid air and reboot . a new meaning t "the blue screen of death"

 

Gives a new meaning to "wild blue yonder".

post #28 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumergo View Post
 

Sigh.

All right already you guys, I got it!  Everyone makes a typing mistake sometimes.  Quit the ad hominem attacks and relax a little, we're all grown-ups here aren't we?

;-)

 

Hey, it's all good in da hood! Nothing personal was meant.:)

 

I'm not sure if there are only grown ups here though. I have a suspicion that many Fandroid infiltrators that frequent this forum are just jobless teenagers who can not afford premium products, and that's why they're always hating on Apple.

post #29 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post
 

You remind me of all the "futuristic" (hah!) movies that feature characters who smoke, no doubt funded by the tobacco companies. Talk about putting the public safety at risk! Movie producers should be absolutely ashamed of their promoting tobacco use.

 

I'm not sure what tobacco has to do with Surface tablets, but are you thinking about series like "Mad Men"? I don't have a problem with the smoking, since it's realistic, and that's what everybody did back then.

 

I would have a big problem with shows like that if people did not smoke, and if it was an unrealistic, PC censored, fake portrayal.

post #30 of 162
"We will be landing as soon as I get into a DOS box"
Or
"Is there a Microsoft certified network engineer on board"
post #31 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

Keep in mind people M$ keeps lots of IT folks in a job, in Indian that is. We all know IT has always hated Apple since it just works and does not need masses of cheap labor unable to answer your questions when things do not work.



Face it M$ products are a job program for countries like Indian.

It's "India" not "Indian". What are you twelve?
15" 2.3 GHz i7, 8 GB RAM, Unibody Macbook Pro
iPhone 4 (Black, 32 GB) [SoftBank, Japan] Please give us Docomo!
iPad 3 (Wifi, 64 GB)
Reply
15" 2.3 GHz i7, 8 GB RAM, Unibody Macbook Pro
iPhone 4 (Black, 32 GB) [SoftBank, Japan] Please give us Docomo!
iPad 3 (Wifi, 64 GB)
Reply
post #32 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post
 

Needless to say, I would never fly with a penny pinching airline that is so out of touch with reality and puts public safety at risk.

 

This reminds me of a recent TV show that I was watching, "Under the Dome". I saw numerous Windows phones and Surface tablets in that TV series. The way that they were featured was so in your face and so obvious, that it could only have been a paid product placement by Microsoft. It was totally unrealistic to see a product that is a certified flop pop up all over a TV show, but that hardly anybody uses in real life.

A couple of things: First, how is choosing Surface over the iPad putting "public safety at risk"?  The FCC/NTSB will make the determination on Surface's viability as an EFB...and I'm fairly certain they understand the requirements better than you.  I would think that a company that pinches pennies in every area that doesn't affect the customer experience would be a good one to fly.  After all, it's our fares that are paying for this stuff.  I'm not suggesting that the cost savings between Surface and iPad are going to show up in the price of a ticket, but if it points to a larger practice of being a thrifty corporate entity, then I'm all for it.  Did you miss the part of the article that said Delta rolled iPads in their airport restaurants?  They understand the desire to use an ipad, no doubt.  They simply decided to put those ipads in the most visible place...where their customers could use them.

 

And as for your "Under the Dome" reference...we're talking about a show about a town stuck under an impenetrable glass dome, whose secrets are somehow connected to butterflies, but you felt the use of MS Mobile products by so many people was unrealistic?  

post #33 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by K2kW View Post

"We will be landing as soon as I get into a DOS box"
Or
"Is there a Microsoft certified network engineer on board"

 

"Is there a Microsoft certified network engineer on board"

 

Love it! 

post #34 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

It's also unlikely that Microsoft will still be selling the "Surface 2" model two years from now, when Delta completes rolling out its EFB program. However, Microsoft is desperately in need of good press for its hybrid-tablet after having been unable to sell the product in volume and being forced to take a charge against earrings of $800 million in the last quarter.

Ballmer's earring collection must have been huge.
post #35 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

Keep in mind people M$ keeps lots of IT folks in a job, in Indian that is. We all know IT has always hated Apple since it just works and does not need masses of cheap labor unable to answer your questions when things do not work.

Face it M$ products are a job program for countries like Indian.

Ha ha Indian. My girlfriend says that. Indian when she means India.

Me: what are you doing this weekend?
She: Going to American for shopping.
post #36 of 162

You think they would've learned from Bell Helicopters.

post #37 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainkinz View Post
 

On a similar note I recently went to see the doctor and the staff had MS Surfaces. I asked the nurse what she thought of them and she said they'd tried hard to lobby for iPads. I would have thought that with a keyboard suppled the Surface would have been a better experience for data entry, but it seemed sooo clunky. Basically just a windows app running on a small screen.

 

There are plenty of excellent keyboard / cover combos for iPads. The MS ads are total misinformation.  I found 4 at Target, and they don't even carry Kensington.  And they don't cost any more than the add-on Surface keyboard.

 

What really gets me about that whole episode is that the reviewers who were obediently parroting MS' claim it had a keyboard whereas the iPad did not, probably had any number of iPad comp demos piled around their desks and on the floor around the edge of the office.

 

MS SQL is fast and very robust.  Also expensive for enterprise, but it's available free and with absolutely every feature enabled up to I think it's 15 Gig of database now.  Other than that, you can keep everything else.  I've got no use for it.

 

I get a ton of job security from MS Windows server admin work, which I do from my Mac.  I'd give it all up in a heartbeat, except for duty to my client.  And yes, it's because the vertical app software is Windows.  Except it's actually not.  It's Java JVM, and could easily be on Linux.  I expect it will be, since the vendor is doing mobile development with the iPad as target.

 

BBRY is spinning down in flames, and MSFT has taken heavy flak and has one engine out and another on fire.

 

Here's a clue:  don't take any geek advice from any nerd that isn't working with all of the platforms she or he purports to know about.


Edited by VicAustin - 9/30/13 at 3:56pm
post #38 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post
 

 

Hey, it's all good in da hood! Nothing personal was meant.:)

 

I'm not sure if there are only grown ups here though. I have a suspicion that many Fandroid infiltrators that frequent this forum are just jobless teenagers who can not afford premium products, and that's why they're always hating on Apple.

I'll quote you this time Apple][ because it was such a great reply!

 

Agreed - wouldn't it be nice if this forum concentrated on discussing the issues rather than knee-jerk anti-this & anti-that.

post #39 of 162

Given the FAA hasn't even approved the Surface 2 yet it would be interesting to see if Delta pilots actually end up using Surface devices, whatever the version... Could just be a marketing ploy from both Delta and Microsoft.

post #40 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by Creep View Post
 

They simply decided to put those ipads in the most visible place...where their customers could use them.

 

And as for your "Under the Dome" reference...we're talking about a show about a town stuck under an impenetrable glass dome, whose secrets are somehow connected to butterflies, but you felt the use of MS Mobile products by so many people was unrealistic?  

 

Yet, they decided to totally ignore the wishes of their pilots, the people who would actually be flying the plane and using the devices in flight. I trust the users more than I trust any bean counters or lame IT people.

 

As for "Under the Dome", yeah, it's a totally unrealistic show, and not a very good show, to be honest, but I just found it funny that under that dome, in that one little town, that's where the entire stock of Surface tablets and Windows phones seemed to end up.:lol: 

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