Microsoft has announced a partnership with iFixit on free trailing for businesses looking to repair phones, tablets and laptops - even as the company's own products are excoriated for being near-impossible to repair.
iFixit has made a name for itself buying in the very latest technology and then ripping it apart in tear-downs, providing a step-by-step pictorial guide to the inner workings of each. For many, they're an invaluable tool in common service tasks like battery replacement - especially where manufacturers don't officially support third-party replacements.
Under the new partnership, which is part of Microsoft's Registered Refurbisher Programme, free online training is to be made available for people to be guided through what they need to know in order to set up a laptop, tablet or smartphone repair business - or to extend an existing recycling business into the realm of repair. 'By providing free online training for people to setup a phone, tablet or PC repair business,
' explained Josh Henretig in the company's announcement
, 'we hope to increase the reuse of these devices. By sponsoring this repair business toolkit, we hope that some of the visitors may see this as an opportunity to create a green business for themselves, for their neighbourhood, and for the planet.
The partnership, while an undeniably positive move from Microsoft, does come with a side-helping of irony in the form of poor repairability scores. With each tear-down, iFixit scores devices out of 10 for how easy they are to dismantle and replace parts. Microsoft's Surface family of tablets have, in every instance, scored the lowest possible 1/10 - making them all-but impossible to repair or maintain, with even the experts at iFixit managing to break the glass on the Surface Pro 3
during their tear-down.