Although Apple was the first company to debut Thunderbolt with the 2011 MacBook Pro refresh, Intel and Apple’s next-gen, one-port-to-rule-them-all is open to all takers. Already, though, one of Apple’s biggest competitors is rocking the Thunderboat, and threatening to fragment the Thunderbolt standard before it even has a chance to clear port.
See that laptop up there? That’s Sony’s latest Vaio, the self-proclaimed “Ultimate Mobile PC”, and see that port with the arrow pointing at it? That’s not a USB port. That’s a Thunderbolt port.
Yup. Instead of using the Mini DisplayPort standard that Apple has settled upon for its own implementation of Thunderbolt, Sony’s decided to go with a USB head, despite the fact that in the past, the USB Implementers Forum stated in no uncertain terms that “USB connectors are not general purpose connectors and are not designed to be used in support of other technology applications or standards or as combo connectors.”
Irritating. While Sony is free to ultimately choose whichever connector it pleases for Thunderbolt, it’s discouraging to see Thunderbolt fragment into talk of USB-to-Mini-DisplayPort adapters before the first Thunderbolt peripheral has even shipped. Boo, Sony. Boo.