It was revealed in an initial report from Grist, that Microsoft is permitting the customers to repair the products of the company. Additionally, it will also look into the environmental effects of allowing right-to-repair and take action on its findings by the end of 2022.
There was a shareholder resolution that was filed in 2021 which asked Microsoft to solemnly analyze the environmental consequences of making its hardware a black box for consumers. It links to the bigger right-to-repair movement which is a collection of ideas standing for giving consumers more control of device ownership, repair, and a greater ability to maintain the devices they buy. As You Sow is a non-profit organization that pushed this agenda.
“This is an encouraging step by Microsoft to respond to the upswell of federal and state activity in the right to repair movement,” said Waste Program Coordinator Kelly McBee of As You Sow, in a recent press release. “Excitingly, this agreement will begin to allow consumers to repair their Microsoft devices outside the limited network of authorized repair shops.” The non-profit consented to withdraw the shareholder resolution on Monday, in exchange for Microsoft committing to “complete a third-party study evaluating the environmental and social impacts associated with increased consumer access to repair and determine new mechanisms to increase access to repair, including for Surface devices and Xbox consoles, expand the availability of certain parts and repair documentation beyond Microsoft’s Authorized Service Provider network, and initiate new mechanisms to enable and facilitate local repair options for consumers.”
The European Union has previously attempted to standardize phone chargers as well. Also, the FCC announced that people must have the right to fix their own things. This marks the first time a U.S. manufacturer has openly promised to change its repair policies due to pressure from investors.
Recently, Green Century, an eco-friendly company, filed two right-to-repair resolutions towards Apple and Deere & Co. that make agricultural equipment like the popular John Deere tractor. These campaigns are paving way for a sustainable future and this is just the beginning of the process.