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What connector do you think you'll need in two years, five years, 10 years?

The transition to USB-C has begun. For most of the life of the device, you'll probably want USB-C.

I'm sure Microsoft will get to it in the next release.

> two years


> five years

Both—not having either will mean tons of dongles.

> 10 years?


[EDIT] actually the 10-year will probably be "some other stupid new connector, with USB-C dongles"

I think you are vastly underestimating how fast trends in the market come out.

USB-A was two years ago.

We're currently in the "having tons of dongles" state. In a year, it'll be 50% USB-C 50% other stuff. In 3 years, it'll be 100% USB-C, with high probability given the current market trends. Even Apple is adopting the USB-C standard. That speaks volumes to the coming trends, and how fast they're coming.

Do you mean USB-C was two years ago? I think that's the only reading that makes your comment make sense.

USB-C is already shipping on cheap desktops, a lot of smartphones, and many laptops. In two years Apple won't ship any computers with USB-A. USB-C has arrived:


Sure, but most of my USB-A stuff will still be fine in 2 years, and much of it in 5. I won't have acquired enough USB-C things in 2 years to care much about it.

Everyone buying a newly released Mac this year will only have USB-C. People buying svelte Windows PCs will be getting only USB-C. Next year's Surface will be only USB-C.

I'm guessing that many of the almost 400 million Android phones that ship this year will have USB-C. Chromebooks? They're going USB-C.

You're just telling us that you'll be happy with legacy. That's fine with me. Not everyone has to plan for the future. It's coming with or without you.

Those are host devices. My wife's and my external CD/DVD burner, USB DAC, Arduino, external hard drives, iPhone 7 Plus, two iPads, half-dozen flash USB drives, various controllers, external keyboards and mice, wireless non-Bluetooth mouse adapters, laser printer, et c., et c will mostly still be working just fine in 2 years, and all connect over USB-A. I'm guessing I'll only have one or two USB-C things by then unless I decide to drop a ton of money replacing lots of perfectly-good equipment.

[EDIT] I'd add: yeah, we have some USB-C Android phones at work. Most of them have... USB-A on the other end of the cable that came with them (there's one exception).

Why are you telling me what people have in 2017? No one is saying that USB-C is the standard now. Although in thin laptops it will be the standard this year. I'll be using my "legacy" USB stuff until it dies too.

The point is that market is starting to adopt USB-C, and everyone should be ready for the transition. I want a future port on my new computers, which will have a 5-10 year lifespan. USB-A would be nice too, but if I can only have one type, I'll take the future port.

Because the question was:

> What connector do you think you'll need in two years, five years, 10 years?

And my answers were USB-A, both, and USB-C (but probably also whatever replaces it), respectively.

Your response to my answer was to tell me that lots of host devices are shipping with USB-C, which has no effect whatsoever on my answer (which I expect is typical, even of people on HN). I thought you must not understand that a bunch of host devices supporting USB-C barely has any effect on what I'll be plugging into my computers for the next few years, since you responded that way, so I gave an (incomplete) list of my USB-A devices which will almost all still be working in 2 years, and most of them in 5, and also, incidentally, a complete list of my USB-C devices (none).

USB-A is hands-down the more useful port to me for the next few years. USB-C is a nice bonus for future-proofing but has zero immediate utility, and will still have little or none in 2 years. Just answering the question.

> so I gave an (incomplete) list of my USB-A devices which will almost all still be working in 2 years, and most of them in 5

If I'm not mistaken, save from the flash drives and non-bluetooth dongles, all of those can be converted with a simple cable switch. Wired KB+mice may unfortunately be cabled into the device but it's still practical enough to just keep an adapter on the end or there's some soldering for a cable swap to be done. Unless you plan to change all of your gear at once, you're in for such a transition anyway, one way or the other.

I have to agree with melling here, such a pricey device that I'd plan to keep for at least 5 years should have the new port.

No, the question is "why is it important that the Surface, or other laptop, ship with a USB-C port today. Asking 2, 5, and 10 was to illustrate that over most of the life of the Surface, USB-C will be preferred.

A $2000 device should have the new port.

But what things other than flash drives (Who even uses those anymore) have ports built in? I have a USB-C -> USB 3.0 mini-b cable that I use for my external hard drives that cost me about $5.

Flash drives are a necessity in some countries and some environments. In my case, a Chinese university.

There are countless flash drives that have both USB-A and -C connectors.

seriously... what do people even use usb-a for besides charging things? compatibility was crap, transition to 3.0 was crap and even the highest end computers offered limited ports - opting to keep a few 2.0s given that support for 3.0 on the device side was even weaker, big, asymetric, fragile, ...

lets just let it die and move to cables that won't need a dongle and aren't thicker than almost everything in a laptop from this generation

Mouse, headset, keyboard, gamepad, bluetooth receiver, USB sticks, and yes a phone charger.

I have no intention of replacing any of these things until they break, that could be a long, long time.

This is exactly the same things people were saying when USB 1.0 arrived, yet somehow people managed to switch.

I'm pretty sure I didn't retire the last of my ps/2, serial, and parallel port equipment until about 2010. Gameport and AT probably went out around '05-'07—until then USB saw very little use and if I'd had to pick all-USB or no-USB, I'd have chosen the latter. My ~3-4yr old unremarkable desktop motherboard still has several legacy ports. I've made no special effort to resist USB, I just haven't retired equipment if it's still useful.

USB came out it 1996. Peripherals stick around a long time.

A bit misleading. Apple was the first major manufacturer to adopt USB in 1998. It took a good 5 years before PC's started adopting them. The move to USB-C is happening much faster.


You'll soon need adapters to use those peripherals for laptops and Surface type devices.

The day when I don't have to squint to tell the difference between the various flavours of Micro/Mini USB cannot come too soon.

Serial and parallel devices died off pretty quickly though the ports lived on for various reasons. PS/2 keyboard and mice endured a good while longer.

I've only seen the joystick port appear on sound cards, which themselves are pretty much dead, and the AT connector was all but extinct by the mid 1990s.

New motherboards seem to fall into two camps: Legacy ports of all flavours, or ridiculous numbers of USB 3.0 ports. I saw one recently with 12 USB3.0 connectors on the back.

Doesn't mean those people were wrong at the time. I was still using a serial port until 2012, still using a PS/2 keyboard until 2014. So I was right not to buy a USB-only PC in 2010, even though I've now switched to one.

I picked up a 2-pack of USB-A/USB-C adaptors on Amazon for $10. I keep them in my bag, it hasn't been a problem. If you're plugging in more than two things at a time then you'd probably benefit from a hub anyway.

on desktop, i definitely feel you.

I still want to be able to transfer data to/from my phone (S7) and my camera. I still want to use my headset. These things are going to last for several years; as such I'm not buying a laptop without USB-A any time soon.

bluetooth? wifi? the future is wireless (hopefully, imo)

I tried a bluetooth headset but it had enough extra latency to throw me off (I play rhythm games sometimes). In theory my wifi's fast enough for copying data to/from my phone, but I don't think it offers an easy way to do that (and my camera doesn't have wifi at all).

> In theory my wifi's fast enough for copying data to/from my phone

I could HotSync my Treo over Bluetooth 10 years ago and it was an effortless two-way sync with reasonably good conflict resolution.

It amazes me that nothing quite gets that right these days.

Maybe something like that would be usable for text or sound, but transferring a video over bluetooth is paniful.

WiFi is clearly the correct solution in 2017. It's just sad how this has gotten harder for users as technology has otherwise improved.

My 5250's still uses twinax to talk to the AS/400 and my VT-100 is on a DEC-432 connection to the VAX.

No. USB-C will soon dominate.

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