Microsoft to appease USB-C lovers with a dongle for Surface Pro and Laptop

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The latest devices in the Surface lineup–Surface Laptop and Surface Pro–don’t include USB C and many on the web have wondered (or are upset) as to why Microsoft isn’t adopting the new technology. Perhaps these folks can finally rest as Panos Panay recently was interviewed by The Verge, and revealed that Microsoft will appease USB-C lovers with a dongle for Surface Pro and Surface Laptop.

Though Panos Panay’s official blog post announcing the Surface Pro does not mention a USB C dongle, in the interview with The Verge, Panos Panay remarked that “If you love Type-C, it means you love dongles… We’re giving a dongle to people who love dongles.”

The dongle is reportedly coming later this year, and Panos also revealed that the dongle would slot into the Surface connector port on the device, saying “If you want to charge a device with a Type-C charger, you can. If you want to put data back and forth with a Type-C peripheral, you can.”

Microsoft to appease USB-C lovers with a dongle for Surface Pro and Laptop - - May 23, 2017
Surface Pro

There was also some interesting remarks about why Microsoft choose to not include USB C ports on their new products. Panos Panay tells The Verge.

“The last thing I want is to take away the port they need today and tomorrow and the next day, to achieve a technology milestone where I then put a barrier in front of my customers… A dongle or an adaptor or a cable that didn’t work because it was Thunderbolt or wasn’t Thunderbolt or I bought the wrong peripheral or I tried to charge it with my phone charger but it wasn’t enough to charge my device all day. Those are those moments.”

Shockingly, the interview also reveals that Microsoft learned a lesson with the Surface 3, perhaps impacting the decision to not include USB C. Panos Panay mentioned that he learned a “super valuable lesson” with Surface 3 which was “painful.”

“What we learned very quickly, which was painful for me, was that it was true what we said: you can charge your device with a phone charger… The problem was that it would take 10 or 12 hours depending on how small the wattage is on the charger…The challenge is when the customer calls you and says ‘my product doesn’t work, what did you do.”

Prototype versions of the Surface Laptop had featured USB C, but the latest interview just confirms that Microsoft is still not ready to adopt the technology, at least built into their devices. GM of Surface Engineering Pete Kyriacou also recently explained that USB-C isn’t ready for mainstream just yet, and defended Microsoft’s decision to nix USB-C in the Surface Laptop.

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