Microsoft has inked a deal with Delta Airlines to roll out 19,000 Nokia Lumia 820 Windows Phone 8 smartphones to the firm's air stewards.
Corporate vice president of Microsoft business solutions marketing Wayne Morris revealed the deal in a blog post, confirming that the Windows Phone handsets will help flight attendants take payments for duty-free items mid flight.
"The next time you purchase a meal while 30,000 feet in the air, take a closer look at the device being used by the flight attendant. If you're flying with Delta Air Lines, chances are you'll notice your transaction has been completed on a Windows Phone," Morris wrote.
"These in-flight, WiFi-connected devices will leverage an Avanade point-of-sale (POS) experience on the Microsoft Dynamics for Retail mobile POS platform."
Morris added that the WiFi network will be powered by US carrier AT&T and will offer the attendants a host of productivity features.
"Together, we delivered a Delta-specific customer experience developed by Microsoft, Avanade, AT&T and Nokia to handle onboard purchases from customers, passenger manifestos and frequent flyer information, connecting gate updates, flight attendant scheduling updates and more," he noted.
"The unique Windows Phone Live Tiles provide the latest information at a glance, including local weather details and flight-tracking information from the Delta Fly app. In addition, flight attendants are more connected and productive with Microsoft Office integration and linked email inboxes."
The news will be a welcome boost to both Microsoft and Nokia, which have been pitching the business benefits of Windows Phone to enterprise customers since the arrival of the original Lumia 800 handset in 2011.
The push is designed to boost Windows Phone's overall smartphone market share, with most analyst houses listing it as controlling less than five percent of the market. Most recently IDC listed the OS as holding a 3.7 percent stake in the market in its Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report.
For a full look at Windows Phone 8 and its business benefits, check out V3's top 10 best features roundup.
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