The ‘right to repair’ movement is gaining traction. Microsoft have promised to look into the possibility of opening up device repair.
You could be opening up future Xboxes to repair them yourself, according to reports from GameSpot. Maybe you’ve heard of the ‘right to repair’? The idea is that you should be able to fix your own tech when it goes wrong. It can extend the life of your items and cut down on tech waste. This seems like a return to the DIY roots of tech. Computers like the Spectrum could be bought more cheaply as a kit, that you built yourself.
Here in the UK, a law was recently introduced to create rights for consumers. Unfortunately, it only covers washing machines, washer-dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators and TVs. Full disclosure: I think ‘right to repair’ is neat. I personally bought a Fair Phone, which can be taken apart and repaired. It annoyed me when Apple designed itty-bitty screws that are impossible to unscrew except by their technicians.
a welcome change from microsoft
It seems we can thank As You Sow for this change at Microsoft. This organisation uses shareholder advocacy to try and get companies to make positive changes. They describe their mission like this:
“Our mission is to promote environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building, and innovative legal strategies.”
As reported by Grist, As You Sow had a “good faith conversation” with Microsoft, which didn’t lead to real action. As a result, they put in a stakeholder motion to get the company to change. In a press release, As You Sow said:
“To take genuine action on sustainability and ease pressure on extraction of limited resources including precious metals, the company must extend the useful life of its devices by facilitating widespread access to repair.”Kelly McBee, Waste Program Coordinator
It sounds like this did the trick. Now Microsoft has promised to look into the “environmental and social benefits” of making it easier to repair devices. Roll on reparable Xboxes!
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Featured Image Credit: Xbox