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Microsoft is committed to the right to repair: it is committed to facilitating the exchange of parts and access to them in its products

The right to repair movement has been gaining traction in recent years. In addition to more and more users pushing for easy-to-repair devices, regulations are also focusing on enforcing it by law. Now it is the turn of companies to adopt it, and one of the first to do so fully is Microsoft. In a new agreement, the company is committed to making it easy for customers to repair by third parties from your devices.

This agreement is the first of its kind. In June of this year, a non-profit organization called As You Sow filed a resolution with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. In it he asked Microsoft to examine the benefits for the environment and for society of having more easily repairable devices. The organization suggested the public supply of tools, parts and repair manuals.

As a result of this pressure, Microsoft has come to an agreement to increase access to necessary parts and repair information. With the aim of reducing electronic waste and reducing the impact it has on the environment. Microsoft today, like many other companies, requires that repairs be done by authorized stores and does not supply loose hardware parts of its products to end consumers.

This is the first time an American manufacturer agrees to change its policies repair after pressure from investors. However it might not be the last, there are similar pressures on Apple and other hardware companies in the sector.

Repair vs. security and integrity

The underlying problem here is how to open these products to third parties without compromising their security and integrity. Apple, for example, is one of the companies that has defended the repair the most exclusively in its stores or authorized stores. They claim that experts must do the repairs to maintain the product warranty.


Secondly there is the issue of security. It is known, for example, that in their old iPhone models with Touch ID, when trying to change the screen or touch the fingerprint reader module, the use of it was disabled by software. They indicated that it was a security issue, to prevent someone from placing a fingerprint reader with a back door. They also disabled software functions when changing the battery for a non-original one.

In the end it’s a matter of find a middle point, where it is possible to offer repair facilities and at the same time maintain the quality and integrity of the product. A regulation of this and integration in the company will help, and we have the example of this with Microsoft’s proposal, facilitating the repair from within and with original parts and manuals.

Via | Grist