Why Microsoft’s New Surface Pro 6 And Surface Laptop 2 Have No USB-C Port

Surface Pro 6
Industry standards change over time, and eventually new technologies almost always take the place of old ones. If you're old enough to remember using 3.5-inch or even 5.25-inch floppy disks, you know what we're talking about. As it pertains to right now, there is a shift from USB-A to USB-C connectivity taking place, albeit a slow one. Not everyone is eager to move on from USB-A, though, including Microsoft.

Just last week, Microsoft unveiled a new round of Surface products, including the Surface Pro 6 and Surface Laptop 2, both of which wield upgraded 8th generation Intel Core processors on the inside. That is all well and good, but it's what's on the outside—or more accurately, what's not on the outside—that is drawing some attention.

Microsoft opted not to outfit its latest Surface Pro and Surface Laptop products with a USB-C port. It's a notable omission when there are some devices that eschew USB-A connectivity completely in favor of USB-C, though more generally, hardware makers tend to include both. So, why did Microsoft shun USB-C on this generation?

"Because if we had to redesign the product every year, then obviously, we haven't made a great product. What would I be chasing?," Microsoft Surface boss Panos Panay told tech blogger Lance Ulanoff.

His comment was in reference to the overall design of the Surface Pro and Surface Laptop, and not just about USB-C connectivity. However, he did point at the Surface Pro 6's USB-A port and comment, "I'm not taking that away."

If and more likely when Microsoft implements a USB-C port on its Surface Pro and Surface Laptop devices, it wouldn't necessarily have to go all-in. It could coexist with USB-A connectivity, giving users the best of both worlds. There's just no rush at the moment. USB-A is still by far the more popular standard, and with the USB 3.1 Gen 2 standard, it's pretty darn speedy, too.

Eventually USB-C is likely to supplant USB-A as the rule instead of the exception. Microsoft is no hurry for that day to arrive. In the meantime, the company will happily sell users a ridiculously expensive USB-C dongle.