- Shareholders have finally convinced Microsoft to take a step it should have a long time ago.
- Allegedly, Redmond officials agreed to expand their Right-to-Repair efforts by 2022.
- This means that it will become easier for the public to fix their devices, instead of replacing them.
- Getting parts will be way easier, as well as finding a shop that can make the repairs on the spot.
Did you know that Microsoft’s Xbox and Surface hardware may be getting easier to repair?
Activist shareholders have convinced the Redmond tech giant to dramatically expand its Right to Repair efforts by the end of 2022.
Thus, it becomes the first major tech firm to give in to the pressure from this movement, and people hope for this to be the start of many. Here’s what officials agreed to:
- Complete a third-party study evaluating the environmental and social impacts associated with increasing consumer access to repair and determine new mechanisms to increase access to repair, including for Surface devices and Xbox consoles
- Expand the availability of certain parts and repair documentation beyond Microsoft’s Authorized Service Provider network
- Initiate new mechanisms to enable and facilitate local repair options for consumers.
Microsoft could set an example for others
Although Microsoft isn’t a leading hardware manufacturer and retailer, it does ship millions of Surface PCs and devices, Xbox videogame consoles, and peripherals of all kinds.
Hopefully, its embrace of Right to Repair will lead to other gigantic corporations following it down the same path.
This is the first time that shareholders have convinced a hardware maker to adopt such new policies, but there are similar resolutions filed with Apple and Deere & Co.
I applaud the sincerity that Microsoft brought to the table in negotiating this agreement and hope additional manufacturers follow suit
Microsoft’s action demonstrates that the company recognizes that extending the lifetime of its devices through repair is essential to meeting its climate goals and that the company is serious about taking action to do so.
These are all pretty vague guarantees, and they don’t mean that your next Xbox or Surface tablet will suddenly become fully user-serviceable.
But the commitments do at least suggest that long-term, it will be easier to get parts for these devices when they break, and it will be easier to find a shop that can make the repairs without needing to go directly to Microsoft.
From what we understand, a summary of the third-party study will be shared with the public by May of 2022.
Electronics are currently the fastest growing waste stream in the world, and that nearly 70 percent of the emissions associated with personal computing devices arise during production.
Thus, by allowing customers to more easily repair those electronics, Microsoft can help keep them stay in use for longer time periods and minimize the damage caused by having to unnecessarily build replacements.
Redmond officials have agreed to complete a third-party study evaluating the environmental impact of broadening the access to repair locations for its Surface and Xbox hardware.
This move will also expand the availability of certain parts and repair documentation beyond its authorized service provider network, and it will initiate new mechanisms to enable and facilitate local repair options for consumers.
Microsoft’s hardware division has taken baby steps in the direction of making its products easier to repair in their most recent iterations, including Surface Laptops with fully accessible innards and replaceable SSDs on some Surface Pro models.
But those changes only look like improvements because Microsoft did so poorly on this front for so many years.
Multiple generations of Surface Pro devices are nearly impossible to open without destroying, and it’s difficult to find SSDs that are physically small enough to fit inside the tablet’s replaceable SSD slot.
But this is all about to change soon so we’ll just have to wait and see what the Redmond tech firm will come up with by the end of 2022.
How do you feel about Microsoft’s latest decision? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.