SKYCAST SOLUTIONS IFESkycast has entered into a strategic partnership with Microsoft to develop a next-generation in-flight entertainment system for Windows tablets.

Right now, Skycast is developing solutions with Microsoft that work on a Dell Venue 8 Pro tablet enclosed in a security shell, and will feature content including movies, TV, digital magazines, music, and a “Xbox Game Center.” One of the stated capabilities of the device is “intra-cabin gaming,” meaning that passengers using the system will be able to compete against one another while up in the air by connecting to the plane’s wireless access points, as well as make some friends on their flight.

“This means that you can play games with them (think Words With Friends, etc),” Skycast President Greg Latimer said in an email to GeekWire. “But we are thinking there is also value in more ‘in-air neighborhood social networking.’ So, for example, if the plane is heading off to Maui or Boston, being able to toss up a question as to the best place to get shaved ice for the former or chowder for the latter.”

The agreement is a shift for Seattle-based Skycast, which has based its previous TrayVu systems on Android tablets, including the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0. The Dell tablet will be branded as the TrayVue8.

It’s good news for Microsoft, as in-flight tablet use has become a fiercely competitive market. United recently announced that it plans to offer an exclusive in-flight entertainment service to iPhone and iPad users who have the United app installed on their iOS device. Microsoft has been making its own inroads in the sky, though: the company landed a contract with Delta to provide its pilots with Surface 2 tablets.

Skycast was founded by Bill Boyer, a former Alaska Airlines baggage handler who went on to invent the digEplayer portable entertainment system more than a decade ago.

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  • SortingHat

    As soon as *dumb* terrorists *(I won’t say Muslim so I won’t get banned by the PC crowd and by PC I mean the politically correct crowd)
    get a hold of it and figure out how to manipulate security settings the fun will be over and in comes the paranoia and big government spying of American citizens which the games will be dumbed down even more because of memory being used by the spying.

    This is why Microsoft is stupid because they want to be a smart phone company instead of a software company due to *everyone going mobile* mentality.
    Instead of making apps for airplanes they need to reorganize their efforts and be a software company again.

    They killed WInodws 8 with the Metro UI to force PC’s to be like a phone and had to give users choices again with 8.1 after a huge backlash which stores stopped selling Win 8 unless it came with a new computer/laptop.

    I don’t blame stores for that decision even if I liked Windows 8 *which I don’t* I don’t want stores to be stuck with something they can’t sell or it’s the Commodore Plus 4 all over again! *Which we also have stored away since nothing was ever written for it*

    Microsoft 10 looks NO better as they force BOTH the start menu and the Metro UI together in order to be a *One in all* device which I can guarantee will be another “Ewwwwwwwww Windows 10!* incident once it gets released and stores will stop selling it within the first few months of loss revenue.

    Meanwhile since Windows 8 scandals has happened Linux Mint has gotten a whole lot better due to users migrating away from Windows to support it which for a long time the Linux community had stagnated until the last few years of ex Window users making an exodus away from Windows.

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