Apple's line of Mac laptops all sport the same MagSafe magnetic adapter. First introduced in 2006 with the MacBook Pro, the magnetic power cord has been present in every Apple notebook since and is seen as a uniquely Apple feature. However, Apple could soon have some company in the magnetic power cord territory as a newly public patent application seems to suggest that Microsoft could be out to design something similar.
The application was filed last year and describes a connector with one or more magnetic attractors that is capable of delivering both power and data to a device. Of course, Apple's MagSafe doesn't deliver data, just power, but we can't imagine Cupertino will be too pleased with Redmond moving in on what it no doubt believes is Apple turf.
Of course, as we all know only too well, while a patent application can offer some indication as to what kind of products a company is planning, this isn't always the case and it's not uncommon for companies to file for a patent only to let it sit gather dust for years after it's granted.
SlashGear points out that Apple applied for a similar patent a few years back, so Microsoft's application may not even be successful. The Apple patent application in question was filed in 2008 and granted in November of 2010. It describes a single magnetic connector cable capable of supplying both power and data to a mobile computing or other type of device using a single connection.
Microsoft Patent Application - USPTO
Apple Patent - USPTO