Greetings from Dubai! I’m here celebrating the recent global availability of Windows 8 at an event with press, analysts, business customers and Microsoft partners. Antoine Leblond, Corporate Vice President of Windows Web Services, is keynoting today and highlighting an array of great Windows 8 apps, new devices and customer experiences. Emirates has joined us here today, and I’m so excited about how they’re using Windows 8 to improve customer and employee experiences – I’d like to share their story with you.

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Emirates is one of the world’s fastest growing airlines, operating over 2,500 flights per week to 126 cities in 74 countries across six continents. The company also operates four of the world's 10 longest non-stop commercial flights from Dubai to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, and Houston.

Delivering extraordinary customer service and experiences are key components of Emirates’ core company values and how they operate their business. To continue pushing the envelope and take their already remarkable service even further, Emirates developed a Windows 8 line-of-business application called Knowledge Driven Inflight Service (KIS).

The Knowledge Driven Inflight Service App

The KIS app is a fully immersive crew and customer management solution that captures important passenger data around preferences and history. For example, details around previous trips, any issues a customer had during their travels, preferences (food, wine, seating, etc.) are stored in the app to help the crew better serve the needs of customers. Pursers use the app prior to each flight to brief the cabin crew, enabling them to provide an exceptional level of personalized service. The crew can also use the app to upgrade Emirates Skywards members while in flight to Business Class or First Class, as well as record customer feedback that is delivered straight to Emirates management once the flight lands.

Hear firsthand from Emirates about their app and reason for choosing Windows 8:

Choosing the Right Hardware

It was important to Emirates that the cabin crew be able to carry around a light and attractive device that could last without needing to be recharged on long-haul flights. They found HP’s new ElitePad 900 business tablet running Windows 8 Enterprise to fit their needs perfectly – it’s thin and light, optimized for Windows 8, and built specifically for business users. Windows 8’s engaging touch user interface seamlessly surfaces the most important information, allowing the crew to spend more time interacting with customers than digging for details.

The Roll Out

Emirates will roll out 100 devices by the end of January 2013, and 1,000 devices total in 2013. By the end of 2013, on every single Emirates flight, you will see a purser using KIS on an HP ElitePad 900 running Windows 8. From an enterprise organization perspective, the impact that Emirates’ KIS app running on Windows 8 devices is already having on their core business is great. We expect these advantages and business benefits to continue to increase as Emirates rolls out the remainder of devices and is able to further increase cabin crew productivity and customer satisfaction.

Emirates is truly a technology leader in the airline industry and I applaud their commitment to innovate to deliver world class service and experiences to their customers.

Check out today’s new Customer Spotlight Press Release featuring Emirates or their Microsoft case study for more on their story. If you’re interested in Windows 8 for your own business, find out more here about how to get started with your planning and deployment. As we continue to hear from organizations adopting Windows 8, I look forward to sharing more stories that uniquely demonstrate how Windows 8 can be useful to your business.