Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Delta Replacing Flight Manuals with Surface Tablets

Unknown Lamer posted about 10 months ago | from the microsoft-to-acquire-delta dept.

Transportation 244

Frosty Piss writes "Delta Air Lines plans to buy 11,000 Microsoft Surface 2 tablets for its pilots to replace the heavy bundles of books and maps they haul around now. Delta says the Surface tablets will save it $13 million per year in fuel and other costs. Right now, each pilot carries a 38-pound flight bag with manuals and maps. Other airlines, including American and United, have been buying Apple's iPad for that purpose. One reason Delta picked a Microsoft device was that it's easier to give pilots separate sections for company and personal use, said Steve Dickson, Delta's senior vice president for flight operations. Another reason for picking the Surface tablet is that Delta's training software also runs on the same Windows operating system as the tablets, reducing the need to redo that software for another device, Dickson said."

cancel ×

244 comments

My experience.... (5, Informative)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 10 months ago | (#44997921)

Here in AMC (Air Mobility Command, USAF) we use the iPad with an OtterBox case. Hope there is a tough case for the Surface, because even is a nice jet like the C-17, these things take a beating.

Re:My experience.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44997929)

But the Surface doesn't even have a BSOD. How will they know when they're going to die?

Re:My experience.... (4, Funny)

Cryacin (657549) | about 10 months ago | (#44998381)

They're being given a Microsoft Surface instead of an iPad. They're already dead inside.

Re:My experience.... (2)

narcc (412956) | about 10 months ago | (#44998441)

Re:My experience.... (1)

Fubari (196373) | about 10 months ago | (#44998573)

that was pretty clever; thanks for the link

Re:My experience.... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44998045)

my experience on the b-1 immediately lets me hate you

Re:My experience.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44998135)

I always thought being a crew chief on 130s was a dirty job......until I deployed to a base with B-1s.

"personal use" on flight-critical device (3, Insightful)

smash (1351) | about 10 months ago | (#44997923)

... what could possibly go wrong?

Re:"personal use" on flight-critical device (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | about 10 months ago | (#44997935)

Hey, Angry Birds, ya know.

Re:"personal use" on flight-critical device (3, Funny)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 10 months ago | (#44998097)

Yes, we've seen what angry birds [wikimedia.org] can do...

Re:"personal use" on flight-critical device (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44997963)

How's that different than the pilots doing it themselves on the ipad?

Re:"personal use" on flight-critical device (1)

Karganeth (1017580) | about 10 months ago | (#44997993)

They aren't flight-critical devices.

Re:"personal use" on flight-critical device (3, Insightful)

Old-Claimjumper (463905) | about 10 months ago | (#44998353)

Sorry, Wrong!

The FAA requires up-to-date charts appropriate for the routes being flown. The FAA has approved these as legal substitutes for printed charts as long as they are current (at Least IPads are, I assume Delta will be getting approval for these things).

So unless they are also carrying the "38 pounds" of paper charts, these things ARE flight critical devices by definition.

Re:"personal use" on flight-critical device (1)

skiflyer (716312) | about 10 months ago | (#44998495)

Not what flight critical means...

Re:"personal use" on flight-critical device (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44998561)

They aren't flight-critical devices.

Sure, as long as knowing how the plane works, or where it's going doesn't matter all that much to you. If you don't mind a monkey flying a plane, enjoy. As for me, I don't "fly", and after hearing this, I will be reinforcing the rough of my house to make it more resistant to plane-crashes, since they'll be falling out of the sky now.

Gives the whole Blue Screen Of Death!

Re:"personal use" on flight-critical device (3, Insightful)

bondsbw (888959) | about 10 months ago | (#44998021)

Separating personal use from professional use is better than mixing them.

Re:"personal use" on flight-critical device (1)

cheater512 (783349) | about 10 months ago | (#44998085)

Bolting it to the plane is even better.

Re:"personal use" on flight-critical device (2)

skiflyer (716312) | about 10 months ago | (#44998503)

Yeah, I was confused as to why they wouldn't just do that, or at least just have a pool of them at each airport. Drop it off when you finish your flight and it will be updated, charged, cleaned, etc.

I guess you're saving even more weight if your pilot isn't also carrying a personal laptop for when he gets to the destination, and people do tend to take better care of devices if they're theirs... maybe that's the logic, or maybe the logic is in the article I didn't read.

A third reason is they gave it to us free (2, Insightful)

the_B0fh (208483) | about 10 months ago | (#44997925)

Because I can't imagine them doing this any other wise. As pointed out else where, this is going to take 2 more years. $5.5 mil for iPads, or $13 mil in fuel savings per year. Hmm... Someone help me with the math here.

And in two years, once the Surface 2 gets certified, what happens? Delta is now flying with 2 year old technology... whoopie.

Re:A third reason is they gave it to us free (2)

icebike (68054) | about 10 months ago | (#44998025)

Buying 11,000 Microsoft Surface 2 tablets is not "gave it to us free".

Surface 2 release date is set for October 22, not two years, and these don't have to be certified.
Something that can show your flight maps and NOTAMS today will show the same in two years.

Re:A third reason is they gave it to us free (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44998043)

yes they do.

Re:A third reason is they gave it to us free (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about 10 months ago | (#44998065)

I can tell you, I hate Microsoft for both rational and irrational reasons. But there is one area that Microsoft beats out the competition, and that is backwards compatibility. If you want to write software that will still run in 10 years, then choosing carefully among Microsoft technologies is a decent way to do that. So if I were Delta, and were deciding whether to do this on iPads or Window Tablets, I would also choose the Windows Tablet, because Apple has demonstrated they have no longterm (or medium term) commitment to backwards compatibility. That is especially true since they already have a codebase set up to run on Windows. Remember that the tablets themselves are likely the cheapest part of this whole operation.

The best would be Linux tablets, because then you can own the whole software stack. The only drawback is the UI situation on Linux........

Re:A third reason is they gave it to us free (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | about 10 months ago | (#44998091)

Then Android. Are you talking about the hot and heavy, clunky Surface Pro, or the yet-to-be-released-or-tested Surface 2?

I'm curious how anyone would go for a yet-to-be-released hardware, versus hardware that's been battle tested.

Re:A third reason is they gave it to us free (1)

bondsbw (888959) | about 10 months ago | (#44998129)

They are still seeking FAA approval. By the expected time for approval, this tablet will be battle tested. Plus, it'll be relatively recent tech compared with the original.

Re:A third reason is they gave it to us free (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 10 months ago | (#44998277)

Hardware is a small problem compared to the software problem. My post was addressing the software problem, and you neatly sidestepped it.

Re:A third reason is they gave it to us free (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | about 10 months ago | (#44998481)

Nice how you neatly dismissed it. If hardware is such a small problem, why didn't previous generations of CE-based Microsoft tablets work? If hardware is such a small problem, why not laptops, after all, it even has a keyboard for precise data entry.

Re:A third reason is they gave it to us free (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 10 months ago | (#44998509)

Windows CE isn't compatible with Windows.

The previous generation of Windows XP tablets probably would have worked fine, I don't know why they didn't do this back then. Possibly they just didn't think of it, you'll have to ask them.

Re:A third reason is they gave it to us free (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44998141)

If that's true, they why doesn't my old Windows software work under Vista or Win7 or Win8? Why do I have to use WINE to run my applications? I mean there's a zillion "compatibility" options and none of them work. But WINE, that works everywhere.

Why do my windows applications work better on a Mac with WINE from MacPorts than Windows 7 or 8?

People who say Microsoft has backwards compatibility have never tried it! You've just read the sales literature... Oh, and by the way, the word gullible is written on your ceiling.

Re:A third reason is they gave it to us free (1)

bondsbw (888959) | about 10 months ago | (#44998203)

You complain about the lack of backwards compatibility for very old applications. Others complain about bloat. Microsoft has done very well in keeping backwards compatibility, but there are limits even for them.

You have a solution, use it.

Re:A third reason is they gave it to us free (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44998415)

the solution is the open source OS model where you officially "own" the whole software stack. Where can I buy a copy of Windows 95 since it's not "free" software it is only legal to purchase right? And so if you can't get the OS and middleware with proprietary software things like virtual machines are useless too. Add to that the registration stuff Microsoft adds to enable installations...

The solution to long term software and ESPECIALLY with these one-offs like Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Metro, etc Delta has just cost themselves way more than porting their software to open source platform. And there's a good history of Microsoft doing lots of changes and dropping compatibility when they have very little market share. The poor fools who followed Windows CE rings a bell here.

Re:A third reason is they gave it to us free (3, Interesting)

Decker-Mage (782424) | about 10 months ago | (#44998317)

I support a lot of businesses that have little to no interest in the latest hardware or ripping out and replacing their software. That came about due to them putting all their (financial) eggs in a DOS/Windows/... basket and a total commitment that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." I have no idea why you are using WINE when Dosbox does a pretty damn wonderful job of running the legacy (antique) software, especially games and productivity software. I just spent the day here segregating software by category and one of the major ones is legacy Microsoft.

I'm running Windows 3.11 over DOS 6.22 here with no problems on a latest and greatest Z77 motherboard which I selected precisely due to the fact that it seems to be last machine with both floppy disk and IDE drive plugs on the motherboard. It's a weird job, but someone's got to be able to do it. Oh, and Turbo C++ runs on all versions of Windows to date here. Real handy for a quick filter/translate hack.

Re:A third reason is they gave it to us free (1)

binsamp (1545097) | about 10 months ago | (#44998513)

"I'm running Windows 3.11 over DOS 6.22 here with no problems on a latest and greatest Z77 motherboard"

Can you tell me which motherboard? I just lost a bundle on an Asus P8H77 and an Asrock Z77 Pro due to problems with the UEFI bios even though it was turned off. I'd like to know what motherboard actually reverts to the old non-UEFI bios and allows you to run DOS 6.22! Thanks, Mike

Re:A third reason is they gave it to us free (1)

narcc (412956) | about 10 months ago | (#44998497)

People who say Microsoft has backwards compatibility have never tried it!

Or they've had nothing but success.

A company I occasionally do work for dropped an old dos program that was in use since 1990 a couple years back. It was running just fine in Windows 7.

I've yet to see an old Windows program that wouldn't run. I've heard anecdotes, sure, but it's never been something I've actually encountered. The most I've ever had to do was check the "Run this program in compatibility mode for" box and pick an old version of Windows. That happens so infrequently I can't even recall the name of any of those programs.

What are these mysterious applications that run just fine under WINE on your Mac that don't run in Windows 7?

Re: A third reason is they gave it to us free (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44998145)

Wrong, windows software migration is not guaranteed. Check with any major corporation the effort to migrate from 95, to 2000, xp, to vista oh sorry Vista had to be skipped and to 7.

Re: A third reason is they gave it to us free (2)

phantomfive (622387) | about 10 months ago | (#44998181)

Wrong, windows software migration is not guaranteed. Check with any major corporation the effort to migrate from 95, to 2000, xp, to vista oh sorry Vista had to be skipped and to 7.

This is the point, right? Migrating from 95 to Windows 7 might be difficult on Windows.

However, look at what we're comparing it against, Apple. Remember that no software sold before 2005 runs on the latest version of OSX. The Microsoft view is, "try to maintain backwards compatibility if we can." The Apple view seems to be, "maintain backwards compatibility when it's convenient."

There are things compiled for DOS that still run on Windows today. There's nothing similar in the Apple world. Apple makes appliances, for better or worse.

That comparison lacks context. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44998601)

Here's another lacking just as much, leading to a different conclusion. In 2006 Mac OS X 10.4 was the most recent version of OS X and it would run magnificently on an iMac from 1999 meanwhile Windows Vista was the most recent version of Windows and it would barely run on the hardware of 2005.

Re:A third reason is they gave it to us free (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44998151)

Once upon a time that would have been true. But the reality is, now Microsoft dumped a lot of backwards compatibility with Windows Vista, 7, and 8, Windows Mobile (obsoleted), WIndows Phone 7 (obsoleted) and Apple is the one known for supporting it's mobile devices the longest.

Re:A third reason is they gave it to us free (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44998299)

If you want to write software that will still run in 10 years, then choosing carefully among Microsoft technologies is a decent way to do that.

Better hope those apps aren't written in a language that depends on the .NET runtime or you will end up having numerous versions installed, each of which must be patched independently for security updates. Windows isn't really a bloated OS until you start piling on all the runtime libraries it takes to support legacy applications, IMHO.

Re:A third reason is they gave it to us free (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44998357)

The only drawback is the UI situation on Linux...

You say that like the problem doesn't exist on Windows. *cough*Metro*cough*

Re:A third reason is they gave it to us free (1)

DDK 8.1 (3343161) | about 10 months ago | (#44998455)

You still get the traditional desktop layout on Win8...that's never going away.

Re:A third reason is they gave it to us free (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44998391)

"But there is one area that Microsoft beats out the competition, and that is backwards compatibility."

Can I install my Microsoft Office 2007 on Windows RT?

Re:A third reason is they gave it to us free (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44998515)

Yes.

Re:A third reason is they gave it to us free (2)

Fishchip (1203964) | about 10 months ago | (#44998547)

Can you install Yellow Dog on your latest Mac Pro?

Re:A third reason is they gave it to us free (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44998395)

Linux is too darned buggy for essential end user functions like that.
Pilots would have to type cryptic commands to fix anything, taking their attention away from other necessities.
Ease of use with MS is as much for safety as it is for convenience.

Re:A third reason is they gave it to us free (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 10 months ago | (#44998087)

$5.5m for iPads + $xx.xm for re-writing and testing software that already works on Windows.

Perhaps they have a long term agreement for continued supply of Surface 2's
Good luck getting that from Apple. iPad 2 came out 2 1/2 years ago, can I get a replacement now or do I have to upgrade and re-test and re-certify it?

Re:A third reason is they gave it to us free (1)

geekboybt (866398) | about 10 months ago | (#44998315)

The iPad 2 is still available. You can go and buy one right now if you wish: http://store.apple.com/go/ipad2 [apple.com]

Re:A third reason is they gave it to us free (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44998231)

5.5m only gets you the ipad device, add an extra 10+million for software rewrites and certification and testing of the content and then you still end up with a device that doesn't even meet the stated reason they went with surface which was seperation of official and personal use in one device.

Re:A third reason is they gave it to us free (5, Informative)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | about 10 months ago | (#44998279)

And in two years, once the Surface 2 gets certified, what happens? Delta is now flying with 2 year old technology... whoopie.

If two years scares you, I pray you NEVER look at the age of some of the flight electronics in the cockpit. Some of those designs and products are over two decades old!

two decades? Active military planes 60 yrs old (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 10 months ago | (#44998453)

Never mind two decades, the friggin air force has bombers in active service that were built in the 1950s.

An airplane doesn't need to play the newest version of angry birds, it needs to avoid injesting large birds.

It's not like they run Windows, so they're overrun with viruses if they aren't updated weekly. Oh shit.

Paper works better (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44997985)

Did you know that airliners are struck by lightning an average of around once a year? What would happen to a tablet if that occurred? Remember it is a consumer item, and it is not designed for service in an environment like that.

What happens if the aircraft depressurizes? Will the tablet continue to function? I have no problem with using a tablet computer as an adjunct to the suitcase of charts that a typical commercial pilot carries. But I do not see it as a replacement.

Re:Paper works better (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | about 10 months ago | (#44998001)

I love the smell of burning paper. Or paper flying all around in a depressurized cabin...

Can you please come up with better arguments next time?

Re:Paper works better (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | about 10 months ago | (#44998063)

What happens if the aircraft depressurizes?

They attach Charlton Heston to a cable and drop him in from a helicopter.

He wouldn't need any maps or manuals to land that bird.

Re:Paper works better (1)

cheater512 (783349) | about 10 months ago | (#44998101)

Same as all the other electronics in the plane. Nothing.
The skin is a Faraday cage. That is why you've never heard of passengers complaining of that problem and why fly by wire planes don't fall out of the sky.

Re:Paper works better (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 10 months ago | (#44998163)

Re What happens if the aircraft depressurizes?
In the old days with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Airways_Flight_5390 [wikipedia.org] and your guided down.
http://www.aaib.gov.uk/cms_resources.cfm?file=/1-1992%20G-BJRT%20Append.pdf [aaib.gov.uk]
So the loss of tablet computer or charts is understood. The other aspect is keeping the tablet up to date eg. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossair_Flight_3597#Final_report [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Paper works better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44998221)

Oh, the same thing would happen to the tablet as what happens to the rest of the aircraft. Oh! What about the HF radios? What about the VHF radios? What about the radar and ident systems? What about the GPS, and the flight control computers? Oh? The lightning strike hits the metal skin of the aircraft, and continues on through the air. The lightning strike doesn't kill anyone onboard either, and none of their phones. Clearly you never studied Electronics Engineering. Perhaps you think when lightning hits your car, you are safe because of the rubber tires. And in is similar vein, your tablet (or any other electronic device) will magically burn up when the skin of the aircraft gets hit by lightning. Oh Noes. Now there are reasons why any microsoft product is brainlessly stupid for this, but that's another matter.

Re:Paper works better (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 10 months ago | (#44998227)

What happens when a stack of paper is struck my lightning? It burns. A tablet won't survive that either though.
What happens to you when the plane is struck by lightning and you're inside? Nothing. No ones laptop gets fried, none of the cargo gets fried, none of the passengers and none of the planes systems.

de-pressurising? The pressure is only going to go from 77kpa to ~35kpa, depending on the altitude. It's not like a plane is pressurised to sea level.
It's not like that crate of tablets in the cargo hold is going to explode because if it, with no moving parts, what is going to change if the device is powered on? Nothing.

Re:Paper works better (1, Redundant)

cdl (902729) | about 10 months ago | (#44998327)

Ahh - well, the plane is a sealed metal tube, right? And the pad is in the sealed metal tube right? What else can we call a sealed metal container.... wait for it.... A Faraday cage. That's right kiddies, If a plane gets hit with lightening, it will charge the skin of the plane, but not induce a current inside of the plane - this is why existing electronics in planes aren't fried. Yes, they are flight qualified, but all the laptops that the punters have in the plane don't get fried, the entertainment system doesn't get fried - basically, lightning isn't a big worry. I'm much more worried about other lightening effects (surface damage, fuel ignition - pretty sorted by now, etc) Now let's talk about depressurization. A computer with rotational media (a hard drive, where air pressure helps float the heads off of the platter) would probably not be too happy about having the air pressure radically change, especially in the downward direction - something about heads plowing little furrows in the disk surface. Similarly, devices that move air to cool their electronics might get a bit warm with the fans blowing a lot less N2 molecules over the heat exchangers. Which of these systems does a pad have? Microsoft may be less than brilliant when it comes to many of their business activities, but I don't even think that Monkey Boy [youtube.com] would sign off on a tablet that had either a hard drive or a fan for cooling. So, what's going to be killed by depressurization? If you say the LCD, I'll slap you (lightly) so you'll look up and see the glass cockpit staring you in the face. Better arguments, please.

Re:Paper works better (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 10 months ago | (#44998553)

nothing, nothing at all would happen cause its not hitting the freaking tablet and there are entire systems on board to take care of such an event

And let's not forget (1)

kiriath (2670145) | about 10 months ago | (#44998007)

Someone from Microsoft probably performed a few 'favors' for someone from Delta...

Just sayin'

Re:And let's not forget (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44998155)

Back in the day, Microsoft could get their way through bullying, lying and good ol' FUD.

You're saying now they've resorted to blowjobs?

I guess we all knew this day would come. Microsoft has already proved they have no morals, so the means by which they land a sale is just a matter of insignificant details.

well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44998011)

At least someone is buying any. I'd almost feel bad for Microsoft. Almost.

Delta pilots don't want Surface. (5, Informative)

GrBear (63712) | about 10 months ago | (#44998027)

Considering the pilots fought to keep the iPads and didn't want Surface, there's more going on behind the scene here.

http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/09/30/delta-pilots-fought-against-deal-to-replace-ipad-flight-bags-with-microsoft-surface [appleinsider.com]

Re:Delta pilots don't want Surface. (2, Insightful)

MatthiasF (1853064) | about 10 months ago | (#44998131)

Fanboy site takes one person's opinion and stretches it across entire group of people, fills rest of article with cherry-picked fluff from other sites.

News at 11.

Re:Delta pilots don't want Surface. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44998313)

Ya, I'm sure those pilots were crawling over each other to get Surface tablets.

Re:Delta pilots don't want Surface. (3, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 10 months ago | (#44998563)

Fanboy site takes one person's opinion and stretches it across entire group of people, fills rest of article with cherry-picked fluff from other sites.

While I applaud efforts to modernize aircraft guides, etc., I have to wonder if these will perform as well as regular print would in certain emergencies. Violent vibration is often a precursor to engine failure, for example, and anyone can tell you that trying to view an LCD that is on a vibrating surface is nearly impossible; Have they tested how well pilots can use this device in such an emergency?

I'd like to know more about the testing that has gone into how well these devices integrate into crew functions during an emergency -- is it as fast? Faster? Will it function well during, say, an explosive decompression (or will the display shatter)? Can it be read in direct sunlight, or when heavy smoke is in the cabin? What procedures are in place to deal with sudden device failure -- do they have backups, one per pilot, one per crew?

So far all I've heard is the benefits to Delta, the corporation: Reduced fuel costs. What I haven't heard of is how this affects flight safety. And to be clear, Delta doesn't have a great record when it comes to this -- AirTran and Southwest Airlines routinely beat them out, and these are budget airlines. Delta aspires to be the go-to for frequent business fliers, and those tickets are at a premium. Delta has routinely shown it is more profit than safety oriented, to the point that airlines with much smaller budgets routinely beat them on maintenance, training, and flight safety.

Well, Delta... did you already prepare a press release for when it's discovered that an inability to access critical checklists during an emergency because of device failure or lack of training wasn't your fault? Or have you done the responsible thing and made sure there's redundancy and adequate training? I know which one costs more... the question is, which one did you pick.

Re:Delta pilots don't want Surface. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44998449)

Right,

The delta flight ops podcast (http://www.dalpilot.com/podcast/) had the head of IT talking about using the Surface because M$ has always partnered with Delta.

The guy doing the interview (a Delta employee) had an iPad.
 

Surface no longer minor player (5, Funny)

Marqis (197235) | about 10 months ago | (#44998029)

Now MS has sold 11,023 tablets!

Re:Surface no longer minor player (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44998311)

more like 11,003

Uh oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44998055)

Microsoft tablets, huh? So what happens when the tablet succumbs to the inevitable blue screen of death?

Re:Uh oh (1)

linear a (584575) | about 10 months ago | (#44998083)

I dunno, maybe use the copilot's one or the spare? Or not take off is something zaps them all at once.

Re:Uh oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44998291)

Each tablet should come with a lucky rabbit's foot and a Micky-d child's meal compass toy, just in-case.

Re:Uh oh (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 10 months ago | (#44998385)

From the classic dual engine failure to new dual tablet failure?

No problem... (-1, Troll)

djupedal (584558) | about 10 months ago | (#44998071)

Let's see how this works out in reality, over time. I mean don't let it worry you, Delta, when Apple's travel agents suddenly stop booking flights on your routes, or some disgruntled pilot mistakenly forgets his new surface under the nose wheel of his plane...

Oh, hell no. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44998075)

Not getting on a Delta flight ever again. I do NOT want to be on a plane where a pilot's looking at a blue screen instead of a chart.

Re:Oh, hell no. (1)

linear a (584575) | about 10 months ago | (#44998599)

You prefer maybe an Apple device built with a totally-compelling user interface?

Surface (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44998093)

Surface you said ? They aren't simply replacing the manuals with electronic tablets but with Surfaces ? Dear god.

BSOD (1)

GrBear (63712) | about 10 months ago | (#44998095)

Blue Sky of Death

Re:BSOD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44998217)

The question is, will it be able to be towed back to port?

[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Yorktown_(CG-48)]

Not flight critical (4, Informative)

Michael Woodhams (112247) | about 10 months ago | (#44998115)

My understanding* is that many airlines are doing this, and the flight critical standard and emergency check-lists are still kept in hard copy. The material no longer on paper will be things like approach maps for a few hundred airports, and manuals for seldom-adjusted aircraft systems. Should such documents be required but unavailable due to misfunctioning tablets, air traffic controllers and the airline's dispatch centre would be able to assist by radio.

If there is a real pilot in the house, perhaps they could comment further.

* I am a non-pilot with an interest in aviation, so I try to follow such developments via internet news sites.

They're saving only 38 pounds.. (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 10 months ago | (#44998125)

Why don't they connect the thing directly to the autopilot and save about 350 pounds? And on top of that, they could save even more money on the pilot's salary.

They could also replace the stewardesses with motorized food carts, or even better, just put the tiny bags of peanuts (all three of them) in the seat pockets in front of you.

Re:They're saving only 38 pounds.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44998289)

I like the way you think. I haven't seen an attractive stewardess since 1999. I'm guessing they all quit after 2001.

Re:They're saving only 38 pounds.. (1, Insightful)

iggymanz (596061) | about 10 months ago | (#44998329)

fly an asian airline sometime, they're still sexist. and, in this case, that's a good thing.

Re:They're saving only 38 pounds.. (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about 10 months ago | (#44998423)

you don't understand. on an american airline, the stewardess sells $2 bags of peanuts, $2 soda, $5 beer and $6 wine (was july a vintage month?)

please turn off all electronic devices (2)

jasontheking (124650) | about 10 months ago | (#44998171)

hey, can't you see I'm RTFMing ?

At least Microsoft can now say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44998177)

That they've sold more than 10K of them. If they get really lucky, maybe they'll sell 20K - over half way there.

They were free (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44998207)

Posting as AC for obvious reasons but I work for a major airline and Microsoft tried to do this exact thing to us. They offered to give them to us for free too but the backlash was too much. It's true the $0 up front makes the ROI reasonable (remember the ROI still includes project cost). The internal push back was enough that MSFT dropped it because they didn't want to impact there $2m++ enterprise agreement when they found out our exec's only wanted iPad's.

The only people pushing these shitty Surfaces is the out of touch internal IT management and Microsoft. Pilots, Exec's, internal customers and guests do NOT want these. It's iPad or "Samsung tablets" or nothing.

Re:They were free (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44998251)

You story smells of BS. firstly a 2m enterprise agreement puts you as a tiny enterprise, if you could even call it that. secondsly how is this the same thing, these are for pilots not for fashion conscious execs that care more about looks than function.

Bye bye Delta (0)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 10 months ago | (#44998269)

I'd rather not have my plane controlled by anything Microsoft. If you want to save weight, prohibit fatties from flying or charge them more. I'm sorry navigating a multi-ton airplane at 500+mph is hard... but it is. It's just science.

Re:Bye bye Delta (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 10 months ago | (#44998361)

Well, breathe easy dude. The tablets aren't controlling anything.

They're electronic manuals. No more, no less.

Re:Bye bye Delta (1)

Fishchip (1203964) | about 10 months ago | (#44998589)

But let's not allow that to get in the way of a good old circle jerk of Microsoft hate.

The only problem with the Surface tablets... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44998295)

Pilots have complained that the displays are covered by a fine layer of Arizona desert sand that is virtually impossible to scrub off.

Possible reasons? (3, Insightful)

onyxruby (118189) | about 10 months ago | (#44998303)

Microsoft would have offered a very sweetheart deal pricewise for this.

From Delta's standpoint it would also have the advantage in that almost nothing runs on it, meaning that people aren't going to muck with it install crap software and malware on the Surface RT is all but unheard of. They also almost certainly would have offered some type of enterprise management tools for the tablets from MS.

Enterprise support for the Ipad is a royal pain at best and tools are quite limited. The app store is oblivious to the concept that a computer could be owned my a company instead of a person. Support issues go far beyond these and their IT department doubtless didn't want to deal with it.

I'm not endorsing the Surface RT and I've certainly gone on the record here about how it's a terrible tablet. I'm just explaining the logic behind the order. They certainly could have made a much better choice than the Surface RT.

Ugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44998305)

My iPad has only locked-up once in three years. The Surface I use for work locks-up several times a week. Do we really want something so unreliable in the cockpit?

Turbulence ahead (4, Funny)

Solandri (704621) | about 10 months ago | (#44998307)

Another reason for picking the Surface tablet is that Delta's training software also runs on the same Windows operating system as the tablets, reducing the need to redo that software for another device, Dickson said."

Considering they bought the ARM version of the tablet, someone's going to be very disappointed (and probably in a lot of trouble) when they discover that it does not run the same operating system as their training software. At least not unless their training software only runs on an extremely limited number of low-power computers.

Good news is, Microsoft's deception campaign to trick people expecting to run Windows apps into buying their ARM OS is working.

I'm sure the pilots will not want to see this... (1)

rmadhuram (525803) | about 10 months ago | (#44998337)

while trying to find information on the airport just about to land.

Error reading flash drive
Abort, Retry, Ignore?_

WinRT training software (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44998425)

So they training software provider had already ported their product to RT. Does the .Net ARM desktop route work with enterprise side-loading keys?

Now I want one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44998463)

Where do I find these? Local landfill?

Don't hire Steve Dickson (3, Funny)

tooyoung (853621) | about 10 months ago | (#44998467)

In other words, think long and hard about having Steve Dickson make purchasing decisions for your company in the future....

Good luck (2)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about 10 months ago | (#44998493)

I hope these work out a lot better than the Microsoft mobile scanners that we use on the ramp and in cargo to track bags/cargo. I'm 30 yards from the damn wireless transmitter and I lose signal at least once a day. Inside a giant warehouse. But yeah, I imagine they went with Microsoft tablets because most of the other computer systems Delta uses is Microsoft, so it streamlines things. However, over the past 6 months or so they have started to give out iPhones as company issued phones to managers and supervisors in the headquarters, but the ones on the ramp and other areas still use Blackberries.

We've just enabled terrorists in hacker versions.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44998525)

The pilot keeps his personal stuff on his tablet running windows, eh? Now there's a nice pathway for a virus... one that modifies the electronic manuals to display wrong flight paths or instructions for necessary maintenance.

Why hijack a plane when Mr. terrorist can sit back in his chair and hijack the tablet, causing the same damage?

These things should never be on a public network, and never have personal information or applications place on them.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...