Delta Airlines decided on Friday to drop Surface tablets from its employee’s flight bags after adopting in 2013. Instead, it began a transition to iOS devices, including iPhone and iPod Pros.
“Beginning early 2018, Delta will equip its more than 23,000 flight attendants and 14,000 pilots with Apple iPhones and Apple iPad Pros, respectively, as the airline transitions to its next generation of flight crew devices,” said the statement.
Besides citing co-operation with other airlines, Delta didn’t give a reason for the change. From an outside standpoint, it seems obvious that Delta didn’t want its employees to utilize the unsteady pairing of Lumia 1520 phablets and Surface. The Lumia brand is now owned by HMD global, and Windows 10 Mobile’s will no longer receive updates.
A Smaller Form Factor
Microsoft didn’t give an answer to the initial statement but has since talked to The Inquirer, stating the following:
“We have a great partnership with Delta. The company decided, as part of its hardware refresh cycle, to standardize on a 10.5” form factor for its electronic flight bag. Delta continues to invest in and is using Microsoft productivity and business applications, including Dynamics and Office 365 across their operations and will continue to do so.”
There’s not a single hint about the Windows platform in that statement, nor does it go much further than Delta’s. The size argument is a new one, however, and rings slightly hollow.
Essentially, Microsoft is saying the reason behind the decision was the move to 10.5″, rather than the Surace Pro, which is 12.3″. I find it hard to believe Delta Airlines switched out their entire line for the sake of two inches, but it could have been a contributing factor.
Whatever the case, its a big blow to Microsoft, who has a laser focus on enterprise and recently said it may continue phone hardware in that space.