There’s no doubt that the Right to Repair movement is gaining traction in the US. And while Microsoft hadn’t done too much regarding that struggle, its latest Surface devices make an effort to make things a bit easier, including accessible SSDs, and in the case of the forthcoming Surface Laptop SE, even more accessibility.
Today, Microsoft and iFixit are announcing a partnership whereby iFixit’s Pro independent repairers, Microsoft Authorized Service Providers, Microsoft Experience Centers, and Microsoft Commercial customers can now purchase official Microsoft service tools for Surface devices directly from iFixit.com.
While these tools are not available direct to consumers, it does allow companies besides Microsoft to offer services to repair consumer and enterprise Surface devices. From the press release:
This program is launching with three tools, as well as weights and accessories, all designed by Microsoft and manufactured by iFixit. These tools enable precision debonding and rebonding of adhesive for select Microsoft Surface models and will undergo the same rigorous quality testing and attention to detail that we give to all of our products.
Successfully working with adhesive is one of the most challenging aspects of repairing the Surface line. Adhesive must be precisely loosened without damaging other components. During reassembly, achieving a strong bond requires precise application of force. While not necessary to complete a DIY repair, these new tools are designed to prevent damage and will help technicians performing a high volume of repairs, and assist in improving accuracy and matching factory-level adhesion.
The Surface Display Bonding Tool, one of the tools iFixit is now manufacturing for Surface repair.Source: iFixit
Surface Display Bonding Frame
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.
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.
- Supported devices: Surface Pro 7+, Pro 8, and Pro X
The iFixit Pro program is something independent repair technicians can apply to by filling out a form. Once completed and approved, those new iFixit Microsoft Service Tools for Surface can be purchased for use.
While this is a significant first step in repairability for Surface, even iFixit acknowledges Microsoft can still do more:
Microsoft’s decision to provide tools to independent technicians is a step in the right direction. Like many companies, they still have a long way to go on their repairability journey, and we’re excited to join them. This is a first step and test of the market—we hope to sell these to the rest of the repair community in the future, and Microsoft is committed to expanding access to repair tools for new products over the next year.
And remaining true to its principles, iFixit notes that this partnership won’t affect its editorial team, where the company will continue “to tear down and review new Microsoft products objectively.”
Considering Microsoft no longer has any physical Microsoft Stores to handle warranty repair and exchanges, this partnership with iFixit should make the lives of consumers and businesses a lot easier with more options for getting their Surface repaired.