Tag Archives: Surface 3

FAA Approves ExpressJet’s Electronic Flight Bag on Windows 10

When you picture a pilot in the airport, what image comes to mind? Typically for me, it’s a pilot walking through the terminal to their flight and they’re usually lugging a big, boxy, black square bag behind them. That bag, carried in addition to their luggage, can weigh up to 50 pounds and contains aeronautical navigation charts and flight manuals. Once at the airport, pilots head to the crew lounge to dig through another bin full of charts to update their manuals. Sometimes that process can take one to three hours prior to a flight. Then once on the plane they flip through the binder to find the ones they need for their flight, and use the charts in the air. Now imagine doing that process for each flight segment – often several times a day!

It’s a process most pilots are accustomed to, but today, with the FAA’s official approval, ExpressJet is changing the game for its pilots. With the Microsoft Surface 3 ‘Electronic Flight Bag’ (EFB) using Windows 10 we’re helping take that burden off of ExpressJet pilots. Nearly 4,000 ExpressJet pilots are now using the EFB solution on Windows 10 and can officially access up to 50 pounds worth of navigation charts at the tip of their fingers on their Surface 3 devices.

“Using Windows 10 EFB has increased situational awareness. It helps us in the flight deck to not have to fumble through our bags to find time-sensitive information during critical phases of flight.”

— Renee Devereux, Airline Captain, ExpressJet Airlines

By running Windows 10 on Surface devices, ExpressJet has seen improvements in safe decision-making, employee morale, and communication with team members. “Our job is to provide as seamless and as safe of an operation as we possibly can,” said Greg Wooley, VP – Flight Operations at ExpressJet. “The Jeppesen Windows 10 EFB app allows our pilots to be an active manager of the operation – it’s not just a replacement for paper, it’s a platform for expansion.”

“Now, it’s easier to get to and from work on a daily basis,” shared Renee Devereux, Airline Captain, ExpressJet. “Employees are a lot happier when they don’t have to lug 50 pounds to work with them—it has changed the morale, not to mention I can also use the Surface to manage my email and other tasks when I am on the road.”

“It gets to be pretty tedious, added Wooley. “Typically, only half a pound of the material inside the heavy flight bag would get used on a flight.” The feature-rich Surface 3 with the Jeppesen EFB gives ExpressJet pilots access to real-time data about weather conditions before their flights, making their preflight preparations as efficient as possible. They can also stay up to date on company news and keep in touch with managers, coworkers and their family.

Customers like Delta have seen savings of approximately 1.2M gallons of fuel and 7,500 sheets of paper annually.

The combination of a Microsoft Surface running Windows and the latest Jeppesen software is dominating the electronic flight bag (EFB) space. Customers like Delta have seen savings of approximately 1.2M gallons of fuel and 7,500 sheets of paper annually. Over the last few years, airlines around the world such as Emirates, Delta Airlines, SkyWest, Lufthansa, Belgian Airlines and more have adopted this solution. Now the update to Windows 10 provides more security, more productively, and a familiar user interface.

Windows 10 adoption among business customers is unprecedented, increasingly improving efficiencies with innovative line of business apps across industries. We continue to work with our business customers across all industries to open up new opportunities and help them find better ways to get things done.

Learn more about Windows industry solutions for Airlines.

Surface now approved for U.S. Department of Defense

As the DoD plans for its upgrade to Windows 10, today we’re also pleased to announce that the Surface family of devices are now fully certified and available through the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Unified Capabilities (UC) Approved Products List (APL) and can be easily worked into deployment plans.

Surface Book, the ultimate laptop from Microsoft, plus Surface Pro 4 (and the previous version, Surface Pro 3) and Surface 3 (the smaller 10.8″ Surface) have all been granted approval as Multifunction Mobile Devices (MMD). This means that Surface has met the strict security and interoperability requirements consistent with the DISA Field Security Office (FSO) Security Technical Implementation Guides (STIG).
Family of Surface productsThat’s important because we know government and defense technology leaders share many of the same priorities as our other commercial customers across a range of industries— they are interested in how Surface can help workers to be more productive on-the-go, while also offering savings through device consolidation. They want to empower a mobile workforce and transform operations through new digital workflows, without compromising security or performance.

Surface Pro 4 is the fastest Surface adopted in business ever with a range of industries including healthcare, financial services, commercial aviation, retail, hospitality, education, engineering and manufacturing all choosing Surface to help their employees get more done. The momentum that Surface continues to build with business customers has been exciting to see.

Now with the ability to provision Surface through common contract vehicles and blanket purchase agreements, we’re eager to see how military departments and DoD agencies may put Surface to use. And with our recently announced Surface Enterprise Initiative programs designed to accelerate adoption of Surface and Windows 10 in the enterprise, there’s never been a better time for businesses of all kinds to take advantage of the value of Surface: cost savings when removing the need for both a laptop and an iPad; the ability to run full Office and desktop apps; and the strongest security and management with Windows 10.

To learn more about the benefits of Surface for Government, visit Surface.com, or talk to your local reseller or Microsoft representative.

Weekend Reading: Microsoft devices news and stories you may have missed (Feb 5)

Microsoft Band 2 gets new features, Surface 3 continues to be a hit in schools, and the Big Game is finally upon us while we imagine what the future of football could look like through the lens of Microsoft HoloLens – here are our pick for this week’s Weekend reading:

New features available for Microsoft Band 2

Earlier this week we announced two new features for the Microsoft Band 2 – GPS power saver and weight tracking – available through the Microsoft Health App. Read and learn more about these new features on our blog post here. And then get out there and have fun!
Microsoft Band power saver mode

The power of Surface Pen and Surface 3 in education

Earlier this week we announced that increasing number of schools are adopting Surface 3 as their 1:1 computing student device, replacing pen and paper in the classroom. Read our story on how different schools are using Surface 3 and Surface Pen, what the latest study says about the power of digital inking, and what Surface offers we have available for Education customers.

Three young students playing and working with Surface 3.

Football today and in the future – it’s a game!

This Sunday it’s time for the Big Game when Carolina Panthers meets Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl 50 – the grand finale of the National Football League (NFL) season in North America. Head over to the Windows Experience blog to find out how you can watch the game live on your Windows 10 device or Xbox. Also check out the NFL season in review, Bing Predicts for the Big Game and game facts over at the Bing blog.

Watch Super Bowl 50 LIVE on the CBS Sports app for Windows 10 and Xbox.

And then finally take a sneak peek at what the future of football could look like shaped by technology such as Microsoft HoloLens.

Surface 3 is a hit in schools… and now at a 30% discount

Surface 3 has been a hit with teachers and students who tell us they love the portability, the tablet and laptop form factor, and most of all… the Pen and ability to move to a paperless classroom with digital ink.  And since we launched Surface 3 last May, we’ve seen increasing numbers of schools – across elementary, high school, and university – adopting Surface 3 as their 1:1 computing student device.

Three young students playing and working with Surface 3.

Broadclyst Primary School, the ROC of Amsterdam, the Ministry of Education Luxembourg, Hillcrest Christian College in Australia as well as Chino Valley Unified School District in the U.S. were among the first to buy and deploy Surface 3. It’s so rewarding for us to see videos like these in classrooms at Sarasota County Schools and Wymondham High Academy where teachers and students are doing great things with Surface 3.

On the heels of attending the BETT conference in the UK, we are excited to welcome even more schools to the Surface family including United Arab Emirates-based Mohammad Bin Rashid Smart Learning Programme, Western Sydney University, Fulton County Schools, and many more.


“Without digital ink we would use the computers as a typewriter or for research…but we would never use it for math, science, or art.” — 2015 IDC Survey of US Educators


These educational institutions and others are experiencing how Surface helps teachers and students be more product with pen and digital ink, plus a click-in keyboard. So, in an effort to empower even more schools with Surface we are offering a new 30% discount on our Surface 3 Education Bundle.

New discount for schools adopting Surface 3

Given the positive response to Surface 3 from schools, and to help even more schools experience the benefits of Surface in the classroom, we are offering the Surface 3 Education Bundles at a 30% discount* for Education customers until June 30th.  The Surface 3 Education Bundles include the device, keyboard and pen, and beginning February 1st, orders will ship with the new Surface Pen.

Surface 3 for Education promo

Welcoming more than 23,000 new students and educators to the Surface family

Logo for Mohammad Bin Rashid Smart Learning ProgrammeThe K-12 focused, United Arab Emirates-based Mohammad Bin Rashid Smart Learning Programme was among the first educational institutions to see what a uniquely flexible tool Surface can be for their classrooms. They have deployed more than 10,000 Surface Pro devices to empower each and every student to learn in an interactive, engaging environment and ultimately prepare them to become future leaders and innovators in their respective fields.

“The goal of the Mohammed bin Rashid Smart Learning Program is to empower our students to realize their full potential as future leaders. We do this through the application of world class teaching techniques and innovative technology, and we are proud to partner with Microsoft Surface on the next phase of the program.” –  HE Mohammed Gheyath, Director General, Mohammed Bin Rashid Smart Learning Program

WesternSydney-logo-4Western Sydney University in Australia continues to work tirelessly to provide a more personalized, flexible learning environment for its students:

“Several years ago WSU became one of the first universities to provide devices for students, but our 5,000 Surface device distribution takes that a step further,” said WSU Vice-Chancellor Professor Barney Glover. “This marks the beginning of a unique device approach developed through consultation between industry and Deans across all faculties, empowering students with a relevant device specific to their course curriculum.”

Logo for Fulton County SchoolsFulton County Schools is one of the oldest and most diverse school districts in Georgia, with a history of technology innovation in learning.  For the 2016 Academic Year, Fulton County will be deploying Surface 3 to all students and teachers in in five of its schools.

“We promote the seamless and effective use of technology to support student learning.  And versatile devices that support digital inking, like Surface 3 allow our teachers and students to more deeply integrate technology into instruction and learning activities.” – Serena Sacks, CIO Fulton County Schools

Logo for Omaha Public School DistrictMany schools are empowering teachers and students themselves to select their own teaching and learning devices. Omaha Public School District is a great example of this.

Shireland Collegiate Academy, a Microsoft Showcase School, uses Surface 3 to do flipped learning and improve pupil engagement.

Special Education departments across the world are adapting to diverse student learning needs by taking advantage of the versatility of form factor and the multiple input/output modes Surface has to offer.

And with the recently announced new Learning Tools for OneNote, we’re even more excited to be able to provide Microsoft hardware and software solutions that provide accessible learning for all students.

New study shows Surface Pen and digital ink can positively impact teacher productivity

Adding to the existing research that shows handwriting as an important factor in memory retention and student learning, IDC recently completed a study which looks at how handwriting is used by educators as a teaching tool. When considering some of the key findings in this study, it’s clear why Surface is developing a strong fan base among educators.

  • 90% of teachers using a digital inking device agree it allows them to increase the quality of their curriculum.
  • 2 out of 3 teachers using a digital inking device agree it saves time when preparing materials and grading homework.

Quotes from educators participating in the study are also telling:

  • “Digital ink is transformational in terms of the way feedback for students occurs. Often the feedback takes the form of simple annotations, markups and highlights.”
  • “Last year I printed out about 900 pieces of paper per student. This year I’ve printed out a total of about 40 pages per kid. That’s a massive reduction”
  • “I don’t bring paper home to grade anymore. It’s all on my computer.”

A screenshot of Surface Education Digital Inking brochure

A white paper outlining the results of this study can be found here.

We love to hear stories of schools adopting Surface, so keep them coming!  And we hope that with this new discount, even more schools will be able to take advantage of the Power of the Pen with Surface 3!

*Final price will come from the authorized reseller. The offer applies to Surface 3 Education bundle SKUs only. Surface Pro 4, Surface Book and non-bundle SKUs are not included in this promotion.

Weekend Reading: Microsoft devices news and stories you may have missed (Jan 29)

The TripAdvisor app is now available for Windows 10, Surface 3 combines design and technology to win over the most prestigious luxury watch group in the UK, and Cortana gets better at helping you manage your busy schedule—these are our picks for Weekend Reading:

Announcing the TripAdvisor app for Windows 10

The TripAdvisor app for Windows 10 is now available as a free download in the Windows Store for your Windows 10 devices, including Surface devices and Lumia phones. Browse millions of traveler reviews, opinions, and photos to help you choose your next travel decision, and compare hotel prices and availability to plan your accommodations. Read more about using the TripAdvisor app for Windows 10 here.

The TripAdvisor app for Windows 10

Surface 3 combines design and technology to win over the most prestigious luxury watch group in the UK

On Monday, we were pleased to announce that one of the UK’s most prestigious watch groups, Aurum Group, decided that Surface 3 was the right device for their business and brands. The sleek, sophisticated design of the Surface fits perfectly with luxury brands, and many of their boutiques use the tablet throughout the store with customers.

Click here to continue reading about what makes the Surface 3 a top choice for businesses.

Microsoft Surface 3

Cortana Gets Better at Helping You Manage Your Busy Schedule

On Monday, Marcus Ash, Program Manager for Cortana, wrote a blog post outlining exciting new features coming to Cortana that will make her even more like a true-life assistant right on your Windows 10 devices. Watch the following video to hear from Marcus himself about these new features, and read the full story here.

Surface 3 combines design and technology to win over the most prestigious luxury watch group in the UK

We are humbled and feeling great about the momentum that Surface continues to build with business customers. Surface Pro 4 is the fastest Surface adopted in business with customers such as The Carlyle Group, Clifford Chance (UK) and Berkshire Hathaway Automotive all purchasing Surface Pro 4 before it was even announced. Today we are pleased to share that one of the UK’s most prestigious watch groups, Aurum group has decided that Surface 3 is the right device for their brands that have a long history of quality craftsmanship.

Inside an Aurum Group's jewelry store.

To support the momentum with our Surface business customers, and meet further customer demand, we announced in July that we would be expanding the business channel to add more partners selling Surface globally and then, in September, we unveiled the Surface Enterprise Initiative to deliver word-class services and support to enterprise customers along with Surface.

Last week we attended NRF, which is the holy grail of the retail industry events. It was a busy week in the retail space and NRF highlighted some of the most interesting and innovative solutions out in the market today. Over the week we heard from multiple customers how impressed they are by Surface 3 the 10.8” light weight, compact Surface that runs full Windows 10 and the capabilities that it has brought to the industry. We have previously shared that BASF, Emirates, Prada and Skywest have all chosen Surface 3 as their device.

Today we are pleased to share that one of the UK’s most prestigious watch groups, Aurum group has decided that Surface 3 is the right device for their brands that have a long history of quality craftsmanship.

Aurum Group are the custodians of some of the UK’s most celebrated retail brands specializing in Watch and Jewelry sales as Goldsmiths, boutique. Goldsmiths, Mappin & Webb, Watches of Switzerland. These brands represent a timeless tradition of innovation and quality combining to make a products that are functional and well designed.

I spoke to Paul Smith from Aurum group to discuss why Surface 3 won them over.

How important was it to blend the technology with the history of watch making?
The history of horology spans both artisanship and invention, we feel it is extremely important that the technology we select echoes that heritage. The watch and jewelry makers invest immense passion into their creations, as we do in our pursuit to deliver the best customer service of our industry. The technology we use must complement these aesthetics, and offer the versatility to bring centuries of knowledge, service and design directly to our clients.

Watches of Switzerland store front.

What were you using before Surface 3?
We have been experimenting in our retail stores for several years to find a way to bring ‘a transaction to a customer’, rather than take ‘the customer to the transaction’. Before the Microsoft Surface we have trialed a number of different mobile devices to help achieve this goal. Our initial attempts were using small laptop devices, these did give us the mobility we required, but no matter how small the laptop they were neither as portable as a tablet, nor as performant as a fix till point. These devices also suffered from limited battery life, our sales consultants need battery powered devices that can last an entire day’s trading – without running flat when helping that important client. We have found other devices to be well designed in terms of size, mobility, battery life, however we have over 25 years of software technology we use in store which has been built for a Microsoft platform so the practicality of porting or redesigning this software to another operating systems is both undesirable and extremely costly.

Why did you choose Surface 3?
The Microsoft Surface was an obvious choice, and had reached a level of maturity that made it a great solution. The Surface had advanced to where it exceeded other tablets in terms of the hardware, but for us had a huge advantage in supporting our full suite of Microsoft applications out of the box. Not only did it require no software development, but also adding it to our Microsoft based infrastructure was a very simple step. We were able to get the Surface up and running in our stores in a very small space of time.

How important was build quality of Surface to you?
The build quality and the look of the Surface was extremely important to us. Being a retailer for both luxury and fashion product, it was important to have hardware that maintained these high standards. Within our luxury stores we typically hide all IT hardware until it is required, with the Surface we find that this is less of an issue as its sleek design works wells even within our most luxurious stores.

Our boutique fashion stores take a slightly different approach, we use the Surface as a mobile tablet throughout the whole store, the design is cutting edge and the high standard of build quality means the device can withstand less gentle handling.

How has Surface improved your business?
One of our biggest challenges as a retailer is to constantly strive to improve the client experience. A mobile capability has always been critical for us, so we can empower our sales team to sit down with our clients anywhere in store and process every step of the transaction process without leaving them or asking them to move somewhere else. The Surface has also given us a lot of IT efficiencies, by making the rollout and ongoing maintenance of the devices much simpler. The cost of the Surface solution is not only competitive with all other tablet devices on the market, but is far more cost effective than our Fixed POS hardware we use in store.

Inside one of Aurum Group's stores.

What is the overall solution and how did Windows 10 make this easier?
We run everything on the Surface, everything our stores and our customers need. One of our most recent additions to our software suite is our extended aisle technology. We developed a Universal Windows Platform app which acts as a container for our standard ecommerce site. This container enabled us provide an in store platform for customer assisted online transactions, where payment can be taken by using a standard chip & pin payment terminal. We are also table to use Windows 10 kiosk mode to instantly deploy a self-service version of this application, whilst still using standard payment terminals when the customer checks-out. The most startling aspect of this project is the delivery timescales; using Windows 10 we were able to build this capability in days, an approach which saved us from an otherwise huge project cost.

We are very proud of Surface 3 and that companies like Aurum group are choosing Surface 3 to represent brands that have a long tradition of quality and craftsmanship. We spend a lot of time obsessing over details when building Surface, to have our quality confirmed by such a prestigious group of brands is humbling. Thanks Paul and the team at Aurum group for letting us tell your story and for choosing Surface 3.

Matt Chapman
Surface Product Marketing

Kid President’s Tips for Making the World a Better Place

Children have a great way of seeing the world. They don’t just see problems they see possibilities. They have this great gift of being able to see with eyes full of wonder and hope, yet also this terrible little habit of always being honest. Like really honest. This can, of course, be funny and wonderful. It can also be wonderfully awkward. Either way, I’ve found it’s always worth it to pause and listen to a child. It was this point of view that inspired the very first Kid President video. Robby, my younger brother-in-law, plays the role of a tiny self-proclaimed president in a series of web videos I created in hopes of inspiring and encouraging kids and grown-ups to work together. Along the way, he and I have found that by inviting people to think more like children, it begins to unlock creativity and compassion in ways we never even dreamed.

A couple of months ago, Robby and I received a call from Windows asking us to join in on their initiative to “Upgrade Your World.” With the holidays quickly approaching we wanted to share our tips on how we can all work to make the world a better place. Together, we came up with a short list of simple gestures we can do to spread joy to those around us:

Kid President’s Tips for Upgrading the World:

  • Be awesome! If you want to be awesome – treat people awesomely. Sounds simple and, well, it really is. Start with the people right next to you.
  • Make a donation! No matter where you are, there’s people next to you and they have needs. Find the closest local shelter, gather donations, and bring‘em over!
  • Clean up! We like it here on our planet. There’s plenty we can do to take better care of it. We can start by working on using more biodegradable stuff.
  • Create the future! Team up with kids to dream up a better future! One great way would be teaching kids to code so they’re better prepared for all that lies ahead.
  • Throw kindness around like confetti! It’s all about treating everyone with kindness no matter what they look like or where they come from.

But we didn’t just make a video. Robby and I were able to upgrade a classroom at the Lincoln Magnet School for Mathematics & Science, an elementary school in our home state of Tennessee. Together with Microsoft, we delivered the #CartofAwesome to help kids learn STEM education. We want to see students in our neighborhood be empowered to grow and learn and create. We want them to have access to inspiring technology. Most of all we want the students to know there are people who believe in them. If you want to upgrade your world, there’s few places better to start with than a classroom.

Robby Novak, Kid President, and Brad Montague, Kid President creator, team up with Microsoft to ‘Upgrade the World’ for students with Surface 3s on Windows 10 at the Jackson, Tennessee, Lincoln Magnet School for Mathematics & Science on December 16, 2015.
Myself and Robby Novak, Kid President, teaming up with Microsoft to ‘Upgrade the World’ for students with Surface 3s on Windows 10 at the Jackson, Tennessee, Lincoln Magnet School for Mathematics & Science on December 16, 2015 

Microsoft and Kid President donate a ‘Cart of Awesome’ loaded with Surface 3s on Windows 10 to the Jackson, Tennessee, Lincoln Magnet School for Mathematics & Science on December 16, 2015 as part of Microsoft’s ‘Upgrade Your World’ campaign.
Microsoft and Kid President donate a ‘Cart of Awesome’ loaded with Surface 3s on Windows 10 to the Jackson, Tennessee, Lincoln Magnet School for Mathematics & Science on December 16, 2015 as part of Microsoft’s ‘Upgrade Your World’ campaign

What’s your idea for upgrading the world?  We want to know because that’s what Kid President is all about: sharing joy and making impact beyond the web. Maybe we can all think more like children. Maybe we can live in a world that’s less childish and more childlike. I think we really can upgrade the world. It just takes children and adults working together.

Let’s upgrade the world, people! Brad and (KP) out!

SkyWest, Inc. chooses Surface and Windows 10 over iPad for 7,500 pilots

Surface 3 – the newest member of the Surface family – was released in May, and we are very excited to see that it is following in the footsteps of the very successful Surface Pro 3. Like its sibling, Surface 3 is opening up new opportunities across many industries.

ExpressJet Pilot Surface 3

Our business customers tell us they’re choosing Surface 3 because it is the thinnest, lightest tablet we’ve ever made – but also has all the functionality of a full PC with a kickstand, a click-in keyboard and running Windows 10.

Early customers including BASF, Emirates and Prada have already chosen Surface 3 and we’re excited about the interest we’ve seen from many others. Beyond commercial industries, Surface 3 has also been adopted in K-12 education including schools like the Sarasota County School District in the U.S. as well as Broadclyst Primary School and Wymondham Academy in the UK. And in higher education, institutions including the ROC of Amsterdam, the Ministry of Education Luxembourg and Hillcrest Christian College in Australia have selected Surface for their faculty and students.

Today we are excited to share two airlines have joined the Surface family. SkyWest, Inc. is currently deploying Surface 3 running Windows 10 Professional to 7,500 pilots at its ExpressJet Airlines and SkyWest Airlines subsidiaries. In addition, we have pre-qualified Surface 3 to simplify the process for airlines to seek Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) authorization from the FAA and EASA.

expressjet aircraft

SkyWest, Inc. to empower its pilots and reduce environmental impact with Surface 3 and Windows 10

Customers of all sizes have started to voice their support and plans to adopt Windows 10 in their businesses, including SkyWest, Inc. who is currently in early deployment of Windows 10 on Surface 3 across its airline fleet, starting first with 3,200 ExpressJet pilots flying today with the new technology.

SkyWest, Inc. is deploying Surface 3 to replace heavy paper-based flight kits containing navigational charts, and aircraft operating and reference manuals. SkyWest, Inc. committed to standardizing their Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) for ExpressJet and SkyWest pilots on Surface 3. At only 1.3lbs, Surface 3 can distill a heavy flight bag into a portable, powerful device while offering simplified management and security via Intune.

Jim Jensen, Vice President of Information Technology at SkyWest, Inc. shared, “Windows 10 on Surface 3 provides the security and management we need in a highly regulated environment. We made the decision early to use Windows 10 and deploy it immediately. Today, it is the most secure platform from Microsoft and we didn’t see a need to wait.”

Brad Sheehan, Vice President of Flight Operations, ExpressJet Airlines, added, “ExpressJet is proud to give our pilots the best technology available for our electronic flight bags, and we’re honored to be the first airline to deploy Windows 10 on Surface 3 for our 3,200 pilots.”

Capt. Brian Harris, ExpressJet Airlines, added, “The Surface 3 EFBs have been great for our pilot group. They’re easier to use than paper charts, provide up-to-date information and offer other tools that support our operation. I use it at home, too, which is a great perk and lets me get things done between flights.”

Businesses of all sizes can join SkyWest and take full advantage of Windows 10 features on Surface including protection against modern cyber threats, streamlined IT management and improved productivity with Continuum. We’re encouraging businesses to start evaluating, piloting and deploying Windows 10 today. IT administrators can test their business applications and start their deployment planning now. See the Windows for your Business blog for more details.

Surface 3 now pre-qualified for FAA authorization

Surface is committed to the commercial aviation industry and we are continuing efforts to make it easier for commercial airlines to adopt Surface tablets.  We’re happy to announce today that Surface 3 has been pre-qualified for airlines to seek authorization from both the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for use as an EFB during all phases of flight. Through a rigorous evaluation process, Surface 3 has completed environmental and situational testing. Now, when airlines look to select the feature-rich Surface 3 for their EFB initiatives, deployment timelines will be significantly decreased, and the device itself may be used to its full computing potential, versus serving just as a simple document reader.

Surface now the tablet of choice for more airlines than ever before

In the past we’ve talked about how the aviation industry is embracing Surface.

Austrian Airlines was the first airline to adopt Surface Pro 3 for their Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) across their entire fleet and their over 1000 pilots, helping to save costs associated with paper charts and lighten the load on each aircraft by about 35 – 45 lbs per crew member, which also saves on fuel costs.

“When we designed the applications for use on Surface Pro 3, we really wanted to take advantage of the touch capabilities,” said Capt. Philipp Haller, Austrian Airlines head of Operational IT and EFB Administration. “This application design and touch capability will help to make our flights more efficient and more safe.”

There are many more examples. Brussels Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Emirates and Lufthansa are among the leaders in commercial aviation choosing Surface tablets. And not just in the cockpit for flight operations – Brussels Airlines has even started using Surface Pro 3 to create a differentiated guest lounge experience, allowing their guests to borrow a Surface tablet between flights to access critical travel information and provide entertainment offerings to their most valued passengers.

For those interested in learning more about the business value that Surface can bring to commercial airlines and their business modernization efforts, we have created a Surface Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) Solution white paper.

The warm reception Surface is receiving from our customers in the commercial aviation sector is exciting to see. Surface is increasingly becoming the device of choice for airlines to help give their pilots and passengers the best, most efficient and productive in-flight experience. We’re inspired to continue to work with our business customers across all sectors to open up new opportunities and find better ways to get things done with Surface.

For more information on Surface in business, visit Surface.com/business.


Cyril Belikoff Senior Director – Microsoft Surface

Microsoft Ignite lights up the modern workforce with new products and services – Weekend Reading: May 8 Edition

Ignite 2015

Craighton Berman’s sketch of Satya Nadella’s keynote at Ignite 2015.

Ready to take a breath? Do it now before we dive into the news from this week, dominated by the announcements from Microsoft’s first Ignite conference. More than 23,000 attended in Chicago and thousands more watched online, learning how IT now means “innovation” and “transformation” – for all of us in the modern workforce.

The modern workforce is a more apt description than the modern workplace – a misnomer, said Gurdeep Singh Pall, corporate vice president of Skype engineering. “Work is what you do; it’s not where you go,” he said. “People will work from wherever they are, with whatever devices they have, and they’ll work on their own time.” Creating services for, and protecting, that modern workforce was front and center at Ignite.

Office 2016 Public Preview, now available, shows how Office has “shifted from ‘me-centric’ to ‘we-centric’ work,” says Julia White, general manager for the Office marketing team. In Office 2016, all Office content is saved to and shared from OneDrive by default; and content can be created and edited using real-time co-authoring, which is coming to Word 2016 desktop. Office 2016 will offer new security, compliance and deployment features that give organizations more control over sensitive data, and IT more flexibility in deployment and management. SharePoint Server 2016 and Exchange Server 2016, also showcased at Ignite, deliver new capabilities across areas including user experiences, compliance and reporting.

Office 2016, Ignite 2015

Real-time co-authoring for Word will be available soon in the Office 2016 Public Preview.

Windows Update for Business, introduced at Ignite, will empower IT pros to keep the Windows devices in their organization “always up to date with the latest security defenses and Windows features,” says Terry Myerson, executive vice president, Operating Systems Group. Windows Update for Business will include features such as “distribution rings,” where an IT pro can specify which devices go first in an update wave, and which ones come later; and “maintenance windows,” to specify the critical timeframes when updates should and should not happen. Windows Update for Business will be free for Windows Pro and Windows Enterprise devices.

Need to have a meeting with a lot – and we mean a lot – of workers in lots of different places? Skype for Business broadcasting, introduced at Ignite and coming later this year, enables customers to broadcast meetings to up to 10,000 people.

At Ignite, we also said hello to the next-generation hybrid cloud, Microsoft Azure Stack, in preview this summer. It brings the Azure user experience and both infrastructure- and platform-as-a-service capabilities into customers’ datacenters. We also learned that SQL Server 2016 preview is coming this summer, with Always Encrypted, Stretch Database and more. Always Encrypted protects data at rest and in motion, and Stretch Database allows you to “dynamically stretch your warm and cold transactional data to Microsoft Azure, so your operational data is always at hand, no matter the size,” says T.K. Ranga Rengarajan, Data Platform, Cloud & Enterprise corporate vice president.

There was other big news this week: Surface 3 became available in the U.S. and many countries around the world. This sharp-looking sibling to the Surface Pro 3 has a 10.8-inch screen with a 3:2 aspect ratio, includes front- (3.5MP) and rear-facing (8MP) cameras which both capture 1080p video; and runs full Windows, including desktop applications. It includes a one-year subscription to Office 365.

The ‘next wave’ of empowerment everywhere. Writer Tracy Ith took us behind the scenes of the fifth annual Microsoft Ability Summit this week, where Microsoft engineers, designers and other tech pros worked with people with disabilities from inside and outside the company, as well as parents and other accessibility advocates to “create that next wave of great products and services” to empower people, says Jenny Lay-Flurrie, senior director of the Trusted Experience Team and leader of the summit.

Microsoft Ability Summit

Jay Beavers’ face is reflected in a device that can drive a wheelchair using eye gaze technology. Credit: Scott Eklund

Safety tested – and relies on Microsoft’s cloud. Writer Jennifer Warnick brought us into the heart of the Illinois headquarters of the 120-year-old UL (formerly Underwriters Laboratories), where 22 billion products, systems and materials are stamped with the UL sign of approval for safety each year. It’s populated by lab spaces “full of circuits and light bulbs, slot machines and hospital beds, ovens and clothes dryers, wires and building materials, bank machines and bulletproof glass.”

Bob Jamieson in UL's “rain room,” where waterproof products are tested.

Bob Jamieson in UL’s “rain room,” where waterproof products are tested. Photo by Brian Smale / © Microsoft

This week on our global adventure to find people who #DoMore on the Microsoft Instagram page, we met Jessi Combs. She is the world’s fastest woman – on four wheels. In 2013, she set the record with a heart-pumping speed of 406 miles per hour.

#DoMore, Instagram,

That’s it for this edition of Weekend Reading. Time to breathe now, and enjoy your 48 hours off before you rejoin the modern workforce – wherever that it is for you.

Posted by Suzanne Choney
Microsoft News Center Staff

Hands-on with the Surface 3

Did you pick up a Surface 3? Yesterday, the Surface 3 went officially on sale! And new accessories such as Surface 3 Type Cover, Surface Pen, Surface 3 Docking Station and Surface 3 Screen Protector to go along with the new Surface 3 are also available. If you’ve pre-ordered the Surface 3, you should be seeing your shiny new Surface 3 arriving soon (if not already). I’ve been using the Surface 3 for a little over a week now and wanted to do a quick write-up on my experience. This isn’t a “review” of the device. If you want to read a review of the Surface 3, check out this review from David Pogue.

Surface 3

The Surface 3 borrows the same awesome premium craftsmanship seen with the Surface Pro 3. Which means it has a thin and light design and is powerful to get stuff done – but also have fun too. It has a kickstand like every Surface previously, but with three preset positions. It’s a bit smaller with a 10.8-inch display versus the Surface Pro 3’s 12-inch display. Despite being smaller, the display on the Surface 3 is still gorgeous. It also has the same The 3:2 aspect ratio first introduced with the Surface Pro 3 as well.

The Surface 3's 3:2 aspect ratio.

For me, the 3:2 aspect ratio on the Surface 3 makes holding it in portrait view really comfortable which I’ll talk more about shortly.

It terms of getting stuff done, the Surface 3 is fully capable of doing all the things you would expect to be able to do on a laptop. I’m syncing all my important files for work via OneDrive for Business and doing a lot of my daily work on the Surface 3 – without any issues. Matter a fact, I wrote this blog post on the Surface 3 with Word 2016 from the Office 2016 Public Preview announced earlier this week. Outlook 2016 works great too and I am an efficient emailing beast. Even though the keyboard is just a very tiny bit smaller than the Type Cover for the Surface Pro 3, I’m finding that it doesn’t make a difference with my typing.

Writing notes in OneNote on the Surface 3

I also am a heavy user of OneNote and absolutely love that the Surface 3 comes with support for the Surface Pen (Surface Pen comes separately). Note that I have a matching red Surface Pen with my red Surface 3 Type Cover! I just fold the Surface 3 Type Cover back and hold the Surface 3 like a tablet and write notes in OneNote.


Right now, I am really into playing Halo: Spartan Strike which was released a few weeks ago. This game looks glorious on the Surface 3. When I am in the mood for something more casual, I’m really enjoying the new game Crossy Road and Cut the Rope 2. Or I just fire up the Nook app and do some reading. Then there are times when I want to watch something – so I fire up either the Hulu Plus app or Netlix app (OMG have you seen Daredevil?).

Surface 3 an Miracast

Speaking of watching things – the Surface 3 supports Miracast and works great with the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter. I can share whatever is on the screen of my Surface 3 wireless to my TV to go through photos or watch movies and TV shows from Xbox Video.

After a little over a week with the Surface 3, I has been both a laptop when I needed it to be and then a tablet when I wanted it to be and it works great. I highly recommend you take a look at the Surface 3 if you’re on the market for a new PC. The Surface 3 starts at $499 and is available now Microsoft Stores, Best Buy or other retailers in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and the United States. In the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico – we have an offer for you to be able to trade in your working Surface RT or Surface 2 and get up to $150 towards a new Surface 3. And starting May 7, Surface 3 will be available in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. For more info, see this blog post from Brian Hall on the Surface Blog.

Above photos taken with my Lumia 930.