Microsoft will begin providing Surface Pro 9 parts for repairs in 2023, the company told DIY site iFixit on Thursday. Microsoft confirmed the statement in an email to CNET.
The Surface maker said it recognizes the importance of device repairability and decided to integrate that philosophy into the design of the Surface Pro 9. The replaceable components will include the display, battery, motherboard, thermal module with fan, SSD, SSD door, kickstand, Surface Connect port, speakers, Wi-Fi deck with microphones, front camera, rear camera, power and volume buttons and the back cover.
Repair guides will be available for download by the end of this year, according to iFixit. Microsoft is also working with a "major US retailer" to build an authorized repair network in early 2023. Spare parts for independent repair shops and consumers should land in the first half of 2023.
iFixit's assessment of the Surface Pro 9 called it the most repairable Surface yet. Past models were difficult to repair, with the Surface Pro 7 getting a one out of 10 repair score. iFixit gave the Surface Pro 9 a seven out of 10, a major improvement.
iFixit said it's been consulting with Microsoft's hardware team directly, giving advice on what's best for making a repairable device. A big sticking point has been glued-down batteries, which makes battery replacements incredibly difficult. With the Surface Pro 9, the battery is screwed into place, meaning it can more easily be swapped out.
The Surface Pro 9 follows a trend in tech spurred on by the right-to-repair movement. Earlier this year, New York passed the Digital Fair Repair Act to require companies that sell tech products in the state to provide documentation, components and software to consumers and independent repair shops. Tech influencers and lawmakers have long demanded that major tech companies make products more repairable to dismantle their control of devices and repairs.
In 2021, President Joe Biden asked the Federal Trade Commission to make it harder for companies to restrict how people can repair their devices. The FTC sent a proposal last month demanding companies produce repair documentation for some household appliances. An iPhone 14 teardown earlier this year showed that Apple made changes to the phone's design to allow repair shops to more easily service the device. Not only that, Apple now offers do-it-yourself repair kits for some of its products.