Emirates has announced that its airline staff will be equipped with 1,000 Windows 8 tablets, as well as a custom Windows application for its crews.
Speaking at the Windows 8 launch event in Dubai, the airline is the first large customer that has adopted Microsoft's Windows 8 tablets in a large-scale deployment, alongside a bespoke app called the Knowledge Driven Inflight Service (KIS) -- an in-flight communication and "customer relationship management" application.
The KIS app was introduced almost ten years ago, and will now receive an update which will include cabin crew briefings, in-flight passenger upgrades, and will also store customer preferences -- including seating and food -- so Emirates crew can quickly scan and resolve any passenger problems. Passengers will able to give the airline feedback as their trip finishes.
"At Emirates, we strive to deliver the world's best in-flight experience," said Kevin Griffiths, senior vice president, Cabin Crew at Emirates.
"We constantly invest in the best aircraft, products and service. To support our crew, we have created an application on Windows 8 that delivers a unique, personalized experience with the necessary information for our cabin crew to better serve the needs of customers. The Windows 8 platform running on HP ElitePad 900 devices gave us this option, allowing us to create the KIS app that enables our crew to offer an experience not available on other airlines."
In-flight attendants will be equipped with HP ElitePad 900 business tablets, which are due to launch in January 2013. Emirates plans to begin deployment in batches, with an end result of 1,000 across its entire fleet. By the end of the scheme, at least one purser on each flight will be equipped with a Windows 8 tablet.