Windows 8 flying high as Emirates to deploy 1000 tablets to crew

Just a couple of months back, you may have read here on Neowin about how American Airlines is working to eliminate the heavy paper manuals (approximately 16kg worth) that must be present in the cockpit of each of its aircraft, replacing them with the dramatically lighter (652g) iPad, in what it calls the 'Electronic Flight Bag' program. Similar initiatives are also under way at Delta Air Lines and Alaska Airlines, and American is also planning to equip its flight attendants with Samsung Galaxy Note tablets to boost efficiency and service in the passenger cabin.

Emirates Airline - one of the world's largest carriers - is also getting in on the tablet action, but it's eschewing the all-too-familiar iPad in favour of slates running Windows 8 instead. Today, the airline announced that it plans to deploy a thousand devices to its cabin crew, running an in-house app called Knowledge Driven Inflight Service (KIS) that will help flight attendants to better provide the exceptional level of service to passengers that Emirates is famous for.


Emirates has forged a reputation for exceptional luxury and extraordinary inflight service

KIS is described as "a fully immersive crew and customer management solution", and allows crew to access the kind of information that helps them to provide a more attentive and individualised level of service to passengers - from food, wine and seating preferences, to a record of any issues that the passenger has experienced on previous flights, and frequent flyer status.

But which Windows 8 tablet will Emirates be deploying to its airborne teams? The airline explained that it needed "a light and attractive device that could last without needing to be recharged on long-haul flights" - especially important for a carrier that operates four of the world's longest non-stop passenger flights. They opted for HP's ElitePad 900, running Windows 8 Enterprise.


Emirates says that HP's ElitePad 900 meets their needs perfectly

Emirates will begin the rollout of 100 devices in January, but promises that by the end of next year, every single one of its flights will be managed by a purser carrying an ElitePad 900 running the KIS app, running to a total of one thousand devices.

Be sure to check out the Emirates video on their plans for the new tablets below:

Source: Windows for your Business | Images: Airspot.ru (Emirates cabin), HP (ElitePad 900)

Editor's note: This story was updated after publication to correct a factual error: American Airlines flight attendants will be receiving Samsung Galaxy Note tablets, not Apple iPads. Pilots, however, will indeed be receiving iPads as originally stated. Our thanks to American Airlines for clearing this up for us!

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15 Comments

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Amazing the purser is Maltese just like me! I could recognise her from the accent. Pretty weird when we're a population of only 400K, 7 hours away from Dubai!

corven22 said,
Amazing the purser is Maltese just like me! I could recognise her from the accent. Pretty weird when we're a population of only 400K, 7 hours away from Dubai!

Lol, want a cookie? (sorry I just had to say it)

As a pilot myself I hope they keep the paper as redundancy. I'd never trust a tablet completely.

I definitely see it as a benefit for a lot of small tasks and even large ones since hauling out the manuals is a right pain (although ours are a sight lighter than 16kgs) and finding things can be a little daunting the first time.

I just hope they don't use bing to search

I expect that over the next year many companies will displace iPads with Windows 8 devices. There are just too many advantages.

Drewidian said,
I expect that over the next year many companies will displace iPads with Windows 8 devices. There are just too many advantages.

yup. we are already doing that. the ipad was a nice fad but it is basically useless next to a full windows 8 tablet.

android never made it to the radar. google is in deep trouble.

this shows the benefit compared to iOS. this app runs on the tablet and, be used back in the headquarters on desktop pc's and maybe even on the windows phone in a trimmed version. cross functionality between different devices erffortless. as long as companies use windows for their pc's, such tablets will yield a huge advantage over ipads in a company environment.or whats the alternative? building an ipad app and for their pc environment a windows version? just makes no sense.

typu said,
this shows the benefit compared to iOS. this app runs on the tablet and, be used back in the headquarters on desktop pc's and maybe even on the windows phone in a trimmed version. cross functionality between different devices erffortless. as long as companies use windows for their pc's, such tablets will yield a huge advantage over ipads in a company environment.or whats the alternative? building an ipad app and for their pc environment a windows version? just makes no sense.

Agreed. It's a shame Microsoft took so long to take tablets seriously (And then when they did forgot about Desktops... lol).

M_Lyons10 said,
Holy crap! I want to fly Emirates from now on! LOL No more being wedged in a seat with my knees to my chin!

and you know how much more expensive it is to fly this way?