A new partnership between Microsoft and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group means that visitors to the luxury hotels will be able to use Surface Pros in their rooms. The tablets are fitted out with a custom Start screen that provides access to a suite of Mandarin Oriental apps providing information about the hotels, access to concierge and housekeeping, and much more.
To start with, 1,000 Surface Pro units will be installed in rooms in hotels in London, Washington D.C., Las Vegas, and Tokyo. As well as making it easier for guests to learn about the hotels and make use of their services, the Windows 8.1 tablets can also be used to access the web to check emails.
Guests can sign into their existing Microsoft accounts to enjoy a personalized experience, safe in the knowledge that the device will be automatically wiped at checkout.
Monika Nerger, CIO of Mandarin Oriental, is pleased with how things are going. "Through the Microsoft platform, we have a bespoke digital experience that allows guests to easily place a complex meal order and request other guest services with a touch of the finger. Early feedback from our guests has been extremely positive, and we will continue to tailor the solution as we extend the tablet deployment to more of our markets, with an initial target installation of 1,000 tablets across the portfolio in the near future."
While the program includes Surface Pros at the moment, Microsoft and Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group should extend it to include new Surface Pro 3s. A Microsoft spokesperson said: "[The program] has been in the works prior to Surface Pro 3’s availability. They will grow the program and it will likely include Surface Pro 3 as they do, but for the time being the devices currently being used in the pilot are Surface Pro."