Microsoft To Ease Repair Restrictions. Apple next?
With the right-to-repair movement growing, Microsoft have agreed to initiate new mechanisms to enable and facilitate local repair options for consumers by the end of 2022.
Kelly McBee, waste program coordinator at shareholder representative As You Sow who were behind the push, says, “Excitingly, this agreement will begin to allow consumers to repair their Microsoft devices outside the limited network of authorised repair shops.”
With electronics recognised as the fastest-growing waste stream in the world, with nearly 70 per cent of emissions associated with personal computing devices occurring during production, keeping our devices around longer through repair decreases mining and refining toxins and emissions, as well as reducing the inevitable landfill.
The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a report to Congress in May that determined there is “scant evidence” to justify the restriction by companies of repair to a limited number of authorised establishments, as Microsoft have done in the past.
A right-to-repair shareholder resolution has also been filed with Apple after US President Biden instructed the FTC to issue rules removing manufacturer restrictions on third-party and DIY repair of mobile phones.
“Microsoft’s action demonstrates that the company recognises that extending the lifetime of its devices through repair is essential to meeting its climate goals,” adds Mcbee.