As you probably know by now, Microsoft Surface is up for preorder. Besides a preorder page, there is also information that covers things like port access, Surface Covers and other information. What you don’t hear much about is the charger.
How important is a charger? I guess that really depends. While I’m not that picky, I will say that I have used (though I don’t own one) a MacBook and really like the idea of a MagSafe connector. You can put them in just about any way and if you trip on the cord you shouldn’t have to worry about the device flying across the floor.
So what is Microsoft using? It seems that they are going with a similar approach, which is a great move on their part. Not only are they safer, they look better in many ways, too. The overall design of this one is pretty cool as well.
Okay, not a big deal. Apple has done this already, right? Yes, but at least Microsoft has a patent for it that should protect them from potential Apple retaliation.
Microsoft’s New Plug: Data + Power
No Apple lawsuit in the making here, hopefully. Why? Because this magnetic design might in fact utilize a patent of Microsoft’s own design. We can’t confirm this for sure yet, but if true, this is a somewhat interesting development.
This might be more like the new lightening port than the power-only cable found on Mac laptops. In other words, this could carry both data and power. Of course Apple has already done this too, but at least the patent here seems to have been granted before the Lightning surfaced.
This might not seem like big news, but it does raise some questions.
Is this going to only appear on the Surface or will it become standard in all Windows Phone and Windows tablet devices?
If they plan on standardizing it, will they use similar practices to Apple to get around the micro-USB restrictions?
That means creating adapters for micro-USB to appease various government agencies in Europe and elsewhere. If they do in fact use the cord in a similar way to Apple, we might see Microsoft-only dock connectors, data transfer cables and similar accessories in the near future.
Windows 8 is already a much more closed operating system that we’ve seen in the past. Closing the cable standard by using a proprietary cable will be yet another move to a more “closed” platform. I love the idea of a magnetic connector, but I’m sort of hoping this is something that will only show up on the Surface or maybe on a few partner tablets.
Micro-USB cables are cheap and most of us have tons of them lying around the house. I’ve never liked Apple’s locked down 1st party cord system.
What do you think?