Microsoft is working on a new design of its Surface Pro, which will be released this year. While the Surface Pro design has not changed much from the Surface Pro 4, Microsoft is expected to adjust the screen frames, add a USB-C port and make the next Surface Pro design a little more rounded as the Surface Go. We have seen a patent that refers to a thinner Surface keyboard, and now one that shows a Surface Pro with a USB-C port and a new type of cover model has appeared.
Seen by Windows United the new patent details how Microsoft plans to use magnets to prevent the surface type cover from shaking when it is not in use. You currently fold the keyboard under the device to use it as a tablet, and hold it in place simply by the way you grip the device. Microsoft proposes to keep the type cover in place under the device with magnets, similar to how the company uses magnets to hold the keyboard against the screen. Presumably this would also work when the Surface Pro is closed in another way, so it can not be easily opened in a bag.
The patent may have to do with magnets, but it has some much more interesting suggestions included on the Future of the Surface Pro. Microsoft seems to be modifying the port selection on its Surface Pro, and if you look closely at the image above, You will notice that there is a new USB-C port on the side, along with the normal USB-A and Mini DisplayPort. If you squint a little more, you'll see that Microsoft has also moved the headphone jack down and adjusted the tab you use to access the music stand.
The most interesting part of these patent images is that there is no surface connection port on this particular device. That could suggest that Microsoft is preparing to break with its magnetic charger and push towards USB-C charging for its Surface line. Microsoft has been notoriously cautious when adopting USB-C, and in particular about removing ports like the Mini DisplayPort. "The last thing I want is to remove the port they need today, tomorrow and the next day, to achieve a technological milestone where I then place a barrier in front of my clients," said Surface's boss, Panos Panay, during the launch of the Surface Pro 5 in 2017.
If Microsoft is actually abandoning Surface Connect, then the company has the possibility to move to USB-C and ThunderBolt 3. Surface Connect, owned by Microsoft, was never created considering ThunderBolt 3. even limited to a maximum of 120 watts that caused some problems for the Surface Book 2. Microsoft might not completely reject the idea of magnetic fastening charges as Apple did for its USB-C charge. A previous patent pointed to a USB-C surface charger with magnets.