First Free Story (1 of 3)

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The addition of the Surface 2 Electronic Flight Bag removes heavy, paper-based manuals and reference material and is expected to save 1.2 million gallons of fuel annually while reducing carbon emissions by 26 million pounds.

The Surface 2 tablet provides flight crews with access to tools and up-to-date flight-related resources.

Delta Air Lines announced today that it would purchase up to 11,000 Microsoft Surface 2 tablets to replace pilots’ flight bags.

Starting with Boeing 757 and Boeing 767 aircraft, pilots on 700 planes will leave behind their 35-lbs. flight kit in favor of the second-generation of Microsoft’s tablet product. The move to tablets will help the airline save on fuel costs, as well as cut carbon emissions by 26-million-pounds, according to the airline. Delta states that all cockpits will be paper-free by the end of 2014.

In Delta’s press release and video [see below] announcing the purchase, the company touted the tablet’s ability to multi-task as a selling point: “Pilots will be able to open two applications side-by-side, offering, for example, the opportunity to assess weather information alongside proposed flight paths.”

This is the first good news for the Surface in what has been an otherwise poor first year on the market. The Microsoft Surface product has been a relative failure for the Windows maker, leading it to write down $900 million in losses in the last fiscal year and slash prices in half to attract customers, which has yet to happen. Analyst estimates point to 1.5 million sales of the Surface in its first 8 months, as opposed to 57 million iPad sales during the same period.

Neither Delta nor Microsoft revealed the price of the tablets and whether it was less than the fire-sale prices being offered to consumers.