Finnair to trial Windows 8 for inflight entertainment starting tomorrow

Starting on March 20th Finnair will begin a two month trial of Windows 8 tablets on flights of its Airbus A330 wide body aircraft with the registration OH-LTT. The airline will be deploying HP ElitePads to passengers on this flight for inflight entertainment.

The live tile wielding tablets will be paired with on-board WiFI and will allow the consumer access to movies, TV shows, music, games and even a wellness programs to help travels adjust to time change and the higher altitudes

Finnair will be offering the in-flight tablets to folks in the Business Class on scheduled flights and in Comfort Class on charter flights starting tomorrow. At the end of the flight, Finnair will be conducting surveys to see the tablets were received before expanding the limited trial.

We will be quite curious to see how the tablets fair with travelers as for many; Windows 8 is still a new experience. While the UI is relatively easy to navigate once you understand the gestures, for those who are not familiar with Windows 8, it could be an interesting experience without any tutorial videos.

Source: Microsoft | Image Credit:

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Interesting concept. Rather than having built in hardware that is (usually) proprietary and costly to maintain, have "normal" tablets which can easily be replaced and upgraded.

As far as Win8 goes, no big surprise there. It would make a very good OS to use in that situation, I'm more interested in how they will handle the CDN, resource allocation, charging (if required - depends how long the flight is), stowage and theft. No point having a nice comfy tablet if is tied to the seat with chain and cables. Stowage will be interesting too. I'm guessing the'll just dish 'em out after takeoff and collect them afterwards. Still, it would take a LOT of space to stash all those tablets.

I wonder why they're using a Windows 8 tablet rather than a Windows RT tablet. Are they planning to run Win32 applications on it?

The HP ElitePad is an Atom-based tablet, so its battery life is pretty good. However, it does cost $200 more than the Microsoft Surface RT. So I'm wondering what would justify the additional expense.

DukeWars said,
Win 8 tablet can be "easily" centrally managed / locked down, unlike RT, ipads, androids etc.

Exactly, a custom image can be easily loaded up with permissions set for all devices.