Delta Air Lines
) 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
) 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
) 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
) 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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