In an interview with The Verge Panos Panay has clarified the availability of USB-C for the Microsoft Surface Pro. The new port will be available via a Surface Dock to USB-C dongle which will support both charging and data transfer.
Interesting decision to retain existing ports and then ship a dongle - especially after the flak Apple took for dongle-life after the MacBook Pro announcement.
Panay is probably right that this is the right way to provide access to the new ports though. Retaining the ports users know and love; and are likely to be already setup to use just makes more sense than ditching them and forcing customers into additional purchases.
This way only those keen to leverage the capability of the new port types get inconvenienced. And it seems its great news for other Surface owners too, as the Surface Dock connector exists on Surface Pro 3 and 4, Surface Book and the new Surface Laptop.
One thing I would argue with is Panay's reports of poor reception of the micro-USB charging port for the Surface 3. Yes it didn't provide optimal performance if plugged into a weak charger. However the flipside was that you were able to charge just about anywhere and everywhere, because of the ubiquity of the micro-USB charger (thanks EU!) on phones.
Of course Microsoft being Microsoft failed to properly communicate the advantages and disadvantages of different types of micro-USB charger at the time.
It's a small gripe and the news that Surface Pro owners will get to use the new port of they choose is great news. Evidence that Microsoft is doing a better job of listening than at times in the past.