Tag Archives: Surface

Flying High with Windows Devices




Delta is once again in the headlines with the recent press announcement with Microsoft.  Delta will equip its 11,000 pilots with the upcoming Surface 2 device that will fulfill the needs of an electronic flight bag.

The official Microsoft Press Release can be found here.  You can also read more about this announcement from the Windows Blog as well as the Surface Blog.

Delta will begin equipping their pilots flying the Boeing 757 and Boeing 767 fleets later this year with anticipation to complete the 11,000 pilot transition by the end of 2014.  Delta calculated that they will be able to save $13 MILLION in fuel and associated costs PER YEAR by going paperless.

Delta’s electronic flight bag will leverage Jeppesen’s industry-leading FliteDeck Pro application built specifically for the Windows 8.1 platform. The interactive software gives flight crews quicker and more efficient access to key, real-time information and resources such as dynamic charts and navigation utilities which help them better manage the safe operation of their aircraft.

“Delivering digital flight information through FliteDeck Pro on the Surface tablet platform will increase situational awareness and improve operational efficiency for Air Lines,” said Tim Huegel, director, Jeppesen Aviation Portfolio Management.  “This EFB integration program highlights a successful collaboration between , Microsoft and Jeppesen and we congratulate on the digital transformation of their flight deck operations.”

You can watch the Press video below.


On top of this recent announcement, I have also posted about the Delta Windows Phone consumer app, Flying the Friendly Skies with Windows Phone, as well as Delta equipping its airline attendants with Windows Phones, Delta Adopts Windows Phones for 19,000 airlines attendants.

Emirates Airlines

Another airline that chose Windows was Emirates Airlines.  Emirates Airlines choose the HP ElitePad 900 to offer better customer service for their passengers.  I originally posted about this several months ago under when I highlighted a number of customers choosing Windows Devices– Will the Windows 8 naysayers step aside, please?


Fighter Pilot Tested

Does Windows 8 and the Windows based devices have a compelling story?  Absolutely.  I’m really excited to see all of these great stories and that people are realizing the true value of the Windows, Devices, and Services platform.  To stay true to this article, I wanted to remind everyone about the Fighter Pilot Case Study that I referenced in a previous post as well – Windows 8 Fighter Pilot Tested.



If Windows and Windows-based devices can meet the demands of these customers, maybe they can meet your company’s demands.  It’s the only tablet that can blend work and play… a single device that end-users will love and provides the lower-cost option for your corporate budget – Are iPads jeopardizing your IT Budget?

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Filed under Microsoft Surface, Windows

How to purchase Microsoft Surface for Enterprises


I had a quick discussion the other day with an enterprise customer when they mentioned that Microsoft makes it difficult to purchase the Surface devices for their Enterprise organization.  They loved the device but they didn’t want to go through all of the hassle to order 1 or order bulk.  This customer was still thinking they had to run down to the Microsoft Store or go to the online Microsoft Store to place an order.

That isn’t the case; in fact, that is the least preferred option.  The best way to purchase a Surface or Surface Pro device is through an authorized reseller.  From the Surface website, there are 10 listed resellers including CDW, En Point Technologies, PC Connection, softchoice, SHI, CompuCom, Insight, PCM, SoftMart, and Zones.  There’s even a BUY button by each one of these resellers to make it easy… go check it out.

The resellers are better equipped to manage your enterprise purchases for a number of reasons:

  • Leverage POs
  • Bulk Orders
  • Possible Imaging Capabilities
  • Accessories
  • Service Programs

If you are looking to purchase over 5,000 devices, contact your Microsoft Account Executive.

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Filed under Microsoft Surface

Surface 2 Launch Event

On left, an angled view of the Surface 2 with kickstand in the new reclined position. Further back and on right, an angled view of a Surface Pro 2 with purple Touch Cover and Surface Pen.

Unfortunately, I was away today so I haven’t had a chance to put together a post on the new Surface 2.  Until then, if you would like to watch the Surface 2 Launch Event On-Demand, you can watch the 1 hour 5 minutes video here.

I would love to hear your thoughts.

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Surface Firmware Updates (June 2013)

imageHave you ever wonder what those Surface Firmware updates do for you?  The Surface team posted a blog yesterday about the most recent update.  I’m really excited to discover that I can change my top row keys to be the function keys as primary… just press FN+Caps to switch to Function Key mode… do it again to get the charms, volume, etc. back.


There are other updates with this June release of the Firmware update as well:

  • WiFi Connectivity Improvement
  • New driver for Surface USB to Ethernet Adapter
  • LifeCam driver
  • Volume boosted for Surface RT

You can read about the changes from the Surface Blog.

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Surface Pro–Enterprise Deployment Quick Start Guide

The much anticipated Deployment Guide has been released for the Surface Pro.  If you click this link you will be redirected to the Microsoft Download Center for the Surface Pro firmware and driver pack.

imageThen, click Download and you will be presented with the ability to download the Firmware and Driver Pack or the 16 page PDF that gives you all the details to successfully deploy Windows 8 to the Surface Pro (or both).

In order to do PXE boot with the Surface Pro, you will need to purchase the Surface Pro Ethernet adapter.  You CANNOT use any other USB Ethernet adapter, it has to be the Surface Pro Ethernet adapter.

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Filed under Core Infrastructure, Windows

Deploying Windows 8 to UEFI Devices

imageOver the last couple of weeks, I’ve received some inquiries on how to deploy a Windows 8 image to devices that are UEFI; especially if they are UEFI only like the Surface Pro.

Some of the challenges I am hearing are related to UEFI systems requiring the boot files residing on a FAT32 partition.  For some, this won’t be too big of an issue; however, others have image files that are much larger than the 4 GB FAT32 limitation.

The Microsoft technical team has posted some very useful documents and instead of recreating the wheel, I thought I would share a few links that may be of interest.

Article 1

Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2012 Update1 Media Deployment USB drive for UEFI computer

This article provides information related deploying an image using the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit to UEFI images.

I am finding that some are still getting hung up on how to create a 2 partition USB drive.  Please read Article 3.

Article 2

Unattended Setup of Windows 8 to Surface Pro

Although titled for Surface Pro, the details provide information on how to prepare a USB drive for an unattended setup.  This works great if your deployment image and boot files are less than 4 GB.  If larger than 4 GB, refer to Article 3.

Article 3

Creating bootable USB drive for UEFI computers

As described in the article, this is the biggest issue I see people running into

UEFI based systems such as the Surface Pro or other UEFI systems require that the boot files reside on FAT32 partition. If they are not FAT32 the system may not see the device as bootable.

FAT32 has a 4GB individual file size limitation and 32GB maximum volume size. If any of the files are larger than 4GB you may have to configure the drive differently. Consider if you are booting Windows PE 4.0 and want to deploy a custom image using Dism.exe where the size of the image is 8GB. You would not be able to store the image on the FAT32 partition.

The article provides two options to get around this.

Finishing Touches

I will finish this post with two other posts that may be of value to you and a two videos from the recent Microsoft Management Summit 2013.


  1. Sample: Configure UEFI/GPT-Based Hard Drive Partitions by Using Windows PE and DiskPart
  2. Samples: Applying Windows, System, and Recovery Partitions by using a Deployment Script


MMS 2013:  What’s New in Windows 8 Deployment

Now that Windows 8 is generally available, it is important for enterprises to begin integrating it into their plans. In this session, we will dig into the technical aspects of Windows 8 deployment projects, including: changes in the tools, technologies, and processes used for deploying.

MMS 2013:  Real World Windows 8 Deployment with MDT 2012 Update 1

In this session, learn about the new features in MDT 2012 Update 1, including deploying to EUFI enabled hardware, work with drivers, updates, applications, configuring BitLocker, all for the enterprise network.

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Surface Pro firmware and driver pack–April 2013

Are you looking for the Surface Pro firmware and driver pack?  Microsoft has made these readily available.  They are located here.

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