Cruise operator Royal Caribbean International is to provide 40,000 crew members across its 23-ship fleet with Windows 8.1 tablets between October and the end of December 2014.
Built by Hexa, the eight-inch tablets will initially be given to crew onboard the line’s latest ship Quantum of the Seas, which is due to launch in November 2014. The tablets will features services such as OneDrive, Bing, Office 365 and Skype, enabling crew to stay in contact with family members and friends while sailing onboard the ships.
“The Royal Caribbean men and women who provide such great vacations are the real heroes of our fleet and these gifts demonstrate our appreciation in a tangible way,” said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “This technology isn’t only about giving our guests a better vacation – it’s about giving our crew and their families a closer connection than we’ve ever been able to.”
Jane Boulware, vice president of US Windows Devices, said: “Microsoft cloud and mobile technologies are going to help Royal Caribbean crew members who represent so many countries around the world stay in touch with their family and friends. With a tablet in hand, a father can attend a parent-teacher conference, a mother can review her son’s book report and friends can check Facebook posts.”
Quantum of the Seas will also feature Microsoft’s Xbox One consoles, which can be used in conjunction with Xbox Live to enable guests to play virtual games with competitors from around the world. The new ship also will leverage a mobile POS system powered by Dell Venue 8 Pro tablets featuring the VeriFone payment sleeve, which includes a card swipe, barcode reader and radiofrequency identification reader.
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