USB-C - A step to the future or not useful at all?


Mini UsB was nnever widespread, and the only thing that plugged in there was A to B cable that is cheap to replace and comes included with every device anyway. Every device has its own cable so no need to be cross-compatible, and the move is completely free.
Now, I wouldn’t mind USB type C, but:

  • it tries to replace type A, which has shittons of different peripherals that need to be replaced
  • nowadays USB OTG is quite popular and micro USB has much more peripherals than mini everhad. So even if we forget it trying to replace full-size ports, it’s still much much worse.

I’m glad Microsoft didn’t jump into the hype train and actually gave it a thought. Not including this new useless port is a very logical decision and I really hope they don’t change their mind.


The thing I don’t get is how you keep saying it’s useless when I already explained why micro-USB can’t do the things that USB-C does. So… if a product fills a role that can’t be filled by any other, that would make it useful, wouldn’t it?

Also, the fact that you can buy a micro-USB to USB-C adapter for a couple of bucks pretty much negates any argument about having to replace all of your micro-USB peripherals. It honestly is no different than using a USB-A to micro-USB adapter, which I’m sure you do if you use OTG on any of your devices. So why not just get a USB-A to USB-C adapter instead? Or put a USB-C adapter on your existing USB-A to micro-USB cables and continue to use them at their limited power and speed capacity? Micro-USB is 10 years old this year and it literally is not capable of some of the things we require a modern connector to do. USB-C has been around since 2014 and the USB Implementers Forum have no intention of getting rid of it anytime soon, so why not just use it since it works well? And by works well I mean it functions flawlessly according to its design, which it does. Or I guess we can use those really wide SuperSpeed micro-USB connectors instead and forget about USB Alternate modes. Is that what you would prefer?


micro USB can do everything I need :slight_smile: the only difference being charge speed, but:

  • Qualcomm Quickcharge is already super fast
  • it could still be improved without changing the connector
  • if we’re talking about micto USB, we’re talking about phones, and phones don’t need even faster charging.

But can we move to the right thread?


If a measly 60 MB/sec transfer speed is fast enough for you, then by all means, continue using USB 2.0. Obviously Microsoft isn’t going to put a micro-USB connector on the Surface, so it’s really a moot point, at least for this thread.


I would prefer sticking to 5-contact MicroUSB, because:


Yes that transfer speed is much more than enough for a phone.


And I am just happy that microusb is pretty much gone from phones nowadays. Some cheap pocs might still use it, but usb-c is already on many cheap phones.


Yes it does function flawlessly, which means, 60MB/sec transfer speed limit (the micro-SD card in my phone supports 80MB/sec so I would already be crippling it right off the bat), no DisplayPort alternate mode (again, what my phone uses to send HDMI signal, and which is IMHO superior to MHL). Seriously, 2007 called. It wants its connectors back.


Allow me to play devil’s advocate here and remind that some technologies, as well designed or well marketed as they may be, never achieve absolute dominance or the complete supplanting of the competition, but instead either remain as mere alternatives, niche offerings, or failed pursuits. There were many experts who thought FireWire would go on to replace USB for high speed media transfer. It never did. Satellite radio was thought to eventually replace radio and become the new standard medium for worldwide audio broadcasting. Instead, podcasts and web radio via cellular networks have largely supplanted it, it never reached full bloom, and it is on the verge of financial ruin. Many thought Wireless A, not G, would be the next fast Wi-Fi technology to replace wireless B since Wireless A was actually faster in real world testing. Yet most manufacturers ended up opting for Wireless G and so Wireless G became the de facto standard for that generation of 802.11 wireless networking. Betamax, Laserdisc and HD-DVD each offered compelling reasons to be the primary format for home video, in some cases clearly outperforming the competition. Yet each ultimately lost. USB-C makes sense from an engineering and practical perspective, but it has the problem of lack of unification and simplicity for ordinary end users. Why don’t all USB-C ports output video and do only some have Thunderbolt 3 while others do not? Until USB-C becomes truly unified and intuitive, it will be just a great accompanying standard but never a substitute for USB-A. Realize people posssess literally billions of USB-A devices collected over nearly 25 years and unlike video formats, it will take years before every kind of equipment is available using USB-C. Until then, until something like one of the most common USB devices on the market, the flash drive or pen drive, finally becomes primarily available in USB-C, USB-C is still years off from dominance.


You would rather stick to a connector type that breaks/shorts every 2-4 months…?


He has some sense of humor…

While Panay isn’t ready to add USB-C to Surface devices just yet, he thinks he has the answer: a dongle. “If you love Type-C, it means you love dongles,” jokes Panay. “We’re giving a dongle to people who love dongles.”

But who actually uses an mDP port without a dongle?

Microsoft could have switched the mini DisplayPort on the Surface Pro and Surface Laptop to USB-C, but Panay says that’s simply “taking away another port that matters"


Guess this changes everything…


I saw a similar article today. While it will take some time to see exactly how things change, I’m hopeful that it will result in more accessories that cost less. The article mentions “sometime next year” which makes it hard to know when to anticipate the downstream effect. But it makes me even more excited about having a Thunderbolt 3 port on the V!


Does anyone know off the bat what the licensing cost for Thunderbolt 3 is at right now?


Yep it’s happening…



[quote=“pauliunas, post:68, topic:6845, full:true”]

I’ve never had this happen with my (good) micro USB chargers. Just that you buy the cheapest and worst quality cables doesn’t mean the design is bad…[/quote]

Nice assumption, but no. I don’t buy USB cables retail and pay attention to both the ratings and the reviews for cables when I buy online. When I give cables to friends/room mates that have one go bad, they almost always last longer than any cables they bought for themselves. Maybe I’m just not as gentle/careful as you are, but my experience has been different. I did say “your mileage may vary.”

The first thing I noticed about the connection when I got my first USB-C phone was that having a flippable connection was as nice as I thought it would be, but that’s not important. The second thing I noticed was that the connection was more firm and solid than those that used micro-USB. As things went on, I also noticed that the connection retained this quality better than my previous phones had.

When I was using phones with micro-USB, having the cable pop out of the phone while I was moving the phone, getting a cat tangled up in the cable, or just flat out dropping the phone, the cable would frequently become disconnected. I don’t consider that a real design flaw, as all of that is outside the “expected usage” envelope. On the other hand, I’ve had all of that happen with my USB-C phones as well, and it’s only come disconnected once.

Simply put, I have never had to wiggle the charging cable when the charging cable was USB-C. The only time the phone didn’t immediately and consistently start charging, the phone itself had gotten into a weird state and required a reboot. This usually wasn’t an issue with a new micro-USB phone, but over time, it always became an issue for me and for every friend I’ve talked to about this. I haven’t changed my cable/charger shopping habits, I haven’t started being more careful with my phone, etc. The only noticeable change has been the switch from micro-USB to USB-C.


Nope, the connection is not firmer. Every cable is different, but most micro USB cables I’ve used are just as firm as type C. Type C doesn’t have hooks, and micro USB has quite “aggressive” hooks that keep it in place.

And I’ve only used my X Compact for less than a month, but the charger cable is already looser than my last micro USB cable was after using it for a whole year.


I’m not making this up or lying, so I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. In my opinion (and that of every one of my friends that have used both, admittedly not a huge data set) backed up by my observations, USB-C charging connections endure better, get accidentally disconnected less often, etc.


You should know Paul - he knows it better…