As taken as we were with the design and the look of the Surface Laptop when we got our hands on it yesterday at Microsoft’s event, we couldn’t help but wonder why the company decided to skip out on including any USB-C ports on the machine. USB-C is undoubtedly the future of wired connectivity, but despite the fact that Microsoft wants its new laptop to last students for four years of college, it didn’t future-proof the Surface Laptop by equipped it with even a single USB-C port.
Even more frustrating is that there appears to be proof in one of Microsoft’s marketing videos for the Surface Laptop that an early version of the device did in fact include not one, but two USB-C ports.
The Verge was the first to catch the detail in the video titled “Craftsmanship,” which is still available on the Microsoft Surface YouTube channel. You can see the two ports for a split-second at around the 1:02 mark in the video below featuring a prototype of the Surface Laptop:
Gizmodo reached out to Microsoft to ask why it scrapped USB-C and received this in response:
Our customers tell us that the vast majority of the peripherals they currently need and use are USB 3.0 compatible, which is why we are offering this port in the Surface Laptop. We have a robust docking solution with Surface Connect and the Surface Pro Dock, and MiniDP is a widely-supported standard for displays across the market.
We are constantly listening to customer feedback, monitoring the market and developments in this area for future programs but have nothing to announce at this time.
In fairness, a majority of the peripherals that I personally use with my Windows laptop are USB 3.0 compatible, but as Gizmodo points out, USB-C is backwards compatible with other forms of USB. Yes, it requires users to purchase a USB-C to USB 3.0 cable, but when USB-C becomes the standard in the next few years (which it almost certainly will), a laptop equipped with USB 3.0 ports and a proprietary charging cable will feel outdated. And that’s exactly what Microsoft says it wants to avoid.
Until USB-C has a wider reach, Microsoft is going to continue employing the same ports and connections on all of its devices. Nevertheless, plenty of people are disappointed by this decision, so perhaps the backlash from consumers will help push the company in the right direction.