Back in October, Microsoft was compelled by shareholders to put more effort into allowing customers to fix their own Surface products. Microsoft Surface products are some of the hardest to fix on the market, and Microsoft has traditionally not made tools available for self-fixing. Now, building on its promise, the company has teamed with iFixit to provide tools for repairing Surface hardware.
Yes, the same iFixit that has given Surface devices terrible repairability scores over the years. In many ways, it makes sense that Microsoft should partner with company. Under the collaboration, iFixit Pro independent repairers, Microsoft Experience Centers, Microsoft Authorized Service Providers, and Microsoft Commercial customers can access new tools.
“Microsoft has taken a big step toward making repair accessible to their customers, and their timing is perfect as Right to Repair gains momentum across the US,” iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens said. “Having OEM tools available will give repair technicians the ability to help their customers keep their devices alive for longer.”
To start, the initiative has three tools that carry Microsoft designs but were manufactured by iFixit. More tools will come in the future, but for now the following are available:
- “The Surface Display Bonding Frame is used in conjunction with weights to press the screen assembly onto the device to ensure proper adhesion. The frame comes with a 12″x 12″ piece of 3/8″ thick EVA foam to place under the device during repair.
- The Surface Display Debonding Tool is used to separate the screen assembly from the device. The tool ensures that the opening pick is inserted just deep enough into the device to separate the screen assembly without damaging other components. This tool is designed for servicing the Microsoft Surface Pro 7+, Pro 8, and Pro X.
- The Surface Battery Cover is placed on top of the opened device to ensure that no accidental contact is made with the motherboard or other sensitive components. This part is compatible with the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 (13.5-inch, 15-inch), 4 (13.5-inch, 15-inch), Surface Laptop Go, Surface Laptop SE, and Surface Laptop Studio.”
Right to Repair
Microsoft’s renewed openness comes amid a general push towards easier repariability. Known as Right to Repair, Microsoft shareholders pushed the company to do more to help customers fix their Surface products.
Microsoft proposed 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 most people.
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. 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.
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