Microsoft: USB-C isn’t ready

Of all the changes Microsoft could have made with the new Surface Pro it introduced on Tuesday in China, adding a USB-C port was a gimme.

Except that it wasn’t and Microsoft didn’t.

The choice to leave USB-C off its flagship product puts Microsoft at odds with an industry that is rapidly swapping out micro USB, USB 3.0 and even beloved power adapters in favor of the newer and more flexible port option.

“I believe there was a headline that said, ‘Microsoft doesn’t believe in Type C.’ Actually, that’s not accurate. I believe in Type C, for sure, but right now I believe in our customers more,” said Microsoft Corporate Vice President of Devices Panos Panay. 

The new Microsoft Surface Pro.

Image: Lance Ulanoff/Mashable

Panay was walking me through the new Surface Pro, the long-awaited follow-up to the popular Surface Pro 4. It includes many updates (800 new parts) and design enhancements, but USB-C isn’t one of them.

“We looked hard at [USB-C],” he said, but later added, “It’s not that it’s not great. It’s not that people don’t use it, but it’s not ready for these products yet. It’s not ready for our customers.”

‘It’s not that it’s not great. It’s not that people don’t use it, but it’s not ready for these products yet. It’s not ready for our customers.’

Panay described USB-C as being in its “infant state” and said that it would be another three to four years before it truly catches on.

In a way, Panay is right. Most of our larger devices still rely on USB 3.0. In systems that have made the switch, like the latest MacBook Pro, dongles are required and not everyone is happy about it.

For Microsoft, it wasn’t an easy choice. “We spent iteration after iteration, thought after thought. We don’t take these decisions lightly. We don’t wake up one day and say, ‘People are using Type-C, oh my…

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