Delta Will Equip Its Pilots With Microsoft's New Surface 2 Tablet


Traditionally, Delta Air Lines ( DAL ) pilots are required to carry a 35-pound flight bag, which includes paper-based manuals and reference materials, with them when they fly. Today, the company announced a big change: Pilots will now carry a Microsoft ( MSFT ) Surface 2 tablet instead of the flight bag. The Surface 2, announced last Monday, is set for release on October 22 as the follow-up to the original Surface, which was launched on October 26, 2012. Delta has a deal with the tech company to buy 11,000 tablets for pilots of 700 aircraft, including the Boeing ( BA ) 757 and 767.

The news is hopeful for Microsoft, as Surface sales have been dismal since the device launched last fall. With a mere 1.5 million tablets sold during the first eight months of its release, Microsoft is taking a writedown of $900 million in losses. By comparison, Apple's ( AAPL ) iPad sold 57 million iPads during those same eight months.

In its press release, Delta said that the Surface 2 will be valuable to its pilots because of its multitasking functionality. "Pilots will be able to open two applications side-by-side, offering, for example, the opportunity to assess weather information alongside proposed flight paths," said the company.

This partnership alone will not revitalize the Surface. But perhaps other companies -- and hopefully consumers -- will also find value in the Surface's ability to multitask.

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Follow me on Twitter: @JoshWolonick and @Minyanville

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Stocks , Technology

Referenced Stocks: AAPL , BA , DAL , MSFT



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