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Microsoft’s next Surface Dock might drop the proprietary connector for USB-C

Microsoft’s next Surface Dock might drop the proprietary connector for USB-C


A new report claims the Surface Dock 3 will use Thunderbolt 4 to connect to Microsoft’s laptops, and presumably devices from other manufacturers.

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A docking station showing rear I/O and a USB-C connector.
The rear I/O is similar, but the leaked dock seems to use USB-C to connector a laptop.
Image: eBay

A new leak suggests the next Surface Dock might use Thunderbolt 4 over USB-C to connect to Microsoft’s laptop lineup, rather than the company’s proprietary Surface connector. Windows Central reports that the device is codenamed Bergamo, and says pictures of it have leaked via this eBay listing.

While other accessory manufacturers have embraced USB-C as the single connector of choice, Microsoft still prefers to use its own Surface connector to dock its laptops with external monitors and other accessories. It’s meant that devices like the $259.99 Surface Dock 2 only work with Microsoft’s own gear, an unfortunate limitation given the cost.

Dock shown from the front.
One of the Surface Dock 2’s USB-C ports appears to have been replaced with USB-A.
Image: eBay

But on the laptop side, Microsoft’s recent devices have increasingly shipped with both connection types. Last year’s Surface Laptop 5 and Intel-based Surface Pro 9 both supported Thunderbolt 4 in addition to Surface Connect, which means that theoretically they’re already equipped to work with this leaked Surface dock. It’s unclear whether future Surface devices will continue to use Microsoft’s proprietary connector if the company releases a Surface-branded Thunderbolt 4 dock, or whether they’ll drop it entirely in favor of USB-C.

Away from its USB-C connector, the unannounced Surface Dock appears to be slightly slimmer than the Surface Dock 2, and there’s at least one minor port change. One of the USB-C ports on the front of the second-gen dock appears to have been replaced with a USB-A port (which seems sensible given the amount of USB-A accessories that still exist). Around back the I/O selection is similar with a power input, Ethernet port, 3.5mm jack, two USB-A and two USB-C ports.

It’s unclear whether this new dock will be fully supported on non-Microsoft devices, but it seems possible given the company’s other devices like mice and keyboards have no problem with other manufacturer’s hardware. Ditching the proprietary Microsoft connector would be great news for anyone who doesn’t want to be locked into a single hardware ecosystem.

A spokesperson for Microsoft did not immediately respond to The Verge’s request for comment.