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If you are a consumer with a broken Surface product, repairing it is far from easy. Doing it yourself is out of the question without expert knowledge because Surface devices are some of the least repairable ever. Microsoft is now “deciding” to give customers more options for repairing their devices.

When I say “decide”, it may be more accurate to say “forced” or “compelled” to make changes. A resolution filed by shareholders to give them the “right to repair” their Surface devices. Microsoft says it will give more options by the end of 2022 if shareholders end their resolution.

Microsoft proposes three changes to give owners of Surface devices more repairability. None of these will include making the devices themselves easier to fix, so DIY will still not be possible for more.

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The first of Microsoft’s proposals is to allow an independent study to evaluate the social and environmental impact of allowing customers more repair solutions. This will also include Xbox consoles as well as Surface hardware.

Next, Microsoft will increase availability of some Surface parts and documentation on repairs beyond the company’s Authorized Service Providers. Finally, Microsoft says it will create more local repair options around the world.

Response

The original resolution was filed by As You Sow on behalf of Microsoft shareholders. According to the non-profit, Microsoft’s action is an important first step, but just a first step. In response to As You Sow, Microsoft wrote the following:

“Microsoft has a longstanding commitment to environmental sustainability. We also have a longstanding commitment to building high-quality, innovative, and safe devices that customers love. We have been taking steps for years to improve device repairability and to expand the available choices for device repair. As You Sow asked us to investigate the connections between our sustainability commitments and device repairability. It was a productive discussion, and we have agreed to undertake that important study, the results of which will be used to guide our product design and plans for expanding device repair options for our customers. For more information on our work around sustainability, including repairability, please consult the Microsoft Devices Sustainability Report.”

Tip of the day: It’s a good idea to backup your computer on a regular basis, and the most fool-proof way is to manually create a disk image in Windows 10 and save it to an external hard drive.

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