Emirates Adopts HP’s ElitePad 900 Windows 8 Tablets To Improve Its In-Flight Service

The world’s tech pundits have already written quite a bit about how Windows 8 will likely see very little adoption by businesses, but Emirates, the fast-growing Dubai-based airline, just announced that it has developed a Windows 8-based line-of-business app called Knowledge Driven Inflight Service (KIS) to help its crews provide better in-flight service.

Emirates announced this new app and service at a Windows 8 event with press and analysts in Dubai earlier this morning. According to Microsoft, “the KIS app is a fully immersive crew and customer management solution that captures important passenger data around preferences and history.” Emirates cabin crew will be able to use the app to see which previous trips a customer has taken with the airline before and, based on this, know their food, wine and seating preferences and, for those select few eligible for this kind of treatment, even upgrade fliers from Business Class to First Class while in flight.

Emirates will use HP’s business-focused ElitePad 900s running Windows 8 Enterprise for this app. The airline will start with 100 devices by January 2013 and promises to have 1,000 devices in use by the end of 2013. Every Emirates purser will be using a Windows 8 machine by the end of 2013.

“At Emirates, we strive to deliver the world’s best in-flight experience,” said Kevin Griffiths, senior vice president, Cabin Crew at Emirates in a canned statement today. “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.”

At the end of the day, this is a very small win for Microsoft, but it does show that there is some interest among businesses to look at Windows 8 and – in some cases – choose it over Apple’s iOS platform.