back to article Microsoft enlists iFixit to extend Surface spare parts program

Microsoft has extended its spare parts program for Surface PCs by selling components at teardown artists iFixit. The software giant’s hardware side hustle first started slinging spares in June 2023, when it used its own Store to sell a limited range of components to users with enough skill and/or confidence to attempt DIY …

  1. DS999 Silver badge

    What's the resale value of a Surface?

    Once it drops below a certain level it isn't worth the cost of parts let alone labor to repair.

    1. Lurko

      Re: What's the resale value of a Surface?

      "Once it drops below a certain level it isn't worth the cost of parts let alone labor to repair."

      That's true of everything that's repairable and depreciates in value. A well made device is built down to a cost based on expected duty and lifetime, it'll be worth less and less based on both better products becoming available new, falling like for like new prices, and the lower remaining life of a second hand product. Sometimes, especially when space/product size isn't an issue making it repairable is easy. other times, like when users want compact, solid devices then making them repairable adds more cost to the new product than the value of potential repairs for a proportion of machines later. There's also the consideration that for any manufactured product, there's surprisingly little production labour involved, whereas all after market activity is intensely labour intensive. Take car assembly, which takes 30-40 man hours, yet for a mere service you'll be billed at least two hours.

      Occasionally we get lucky, with an easy to repair device with readily available spare parts at a reasonable cost. But take my dishwasher - eleven years old, with a repairable fault. It'll likely cost around £50 in parts, £70 in labour. £120 on a ten year old machine with no certainty on what breaks next, or £400-500 for a replacement machine and a warranty that'll fix anything in the first two years? I know what I'll choose.

      Repairability is great if you benefit from it, but it's often over-rated, especially if the device is reliable for any reasonable length of time.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: What's the resale value of a Surface?

        Depends. If you are fixing it yourself, the "labour charge" is your time, rewarded by the feeling of satisfaction that you fixed it yourself and will probably get at least another year or two out of it. So your dishwasher only cost £50 to repair unless you called someone in to fix it.

  2. DJO Silver badge

    Does they mean what they say?

    Cisco has frequently told customers it won’t patch old devices with known security flaws, and recommends acquiring new ones instead

    No I like the known old flaws, I don't want unknown new flaws.

  3. SVD_NL Bronze badge

    Repair a surface? Good luck!

    Whitewashing BS at it's finest.

    Surface devices are horrible to service and no one is going to spend the time and effort to repair one if it is a few years old.

    I had a customer with a 15"surface laptop 3, wanted a new battery. reasonable, probably one of the most likely repairs that will extend the lifetime of a laptop. Enjoy the ifixit guide:

    TL;DR: take apart the entire goddamn laptop to pry off a battery glued to the rear cover (and i remember seeing labels warning against repairing it by yourself).

    And i mean the entire damn laptop. You even need to remove the heatsink and the entire mainboard!

    remember this is not one of the tablets, this is a 15" laptop!!!

    That customer has a new laptop now, and a 3 year old surface is now e-waste because the battery is no good. disgraceful.

    You cannot claim to be all for right to repair and boast about offering parts when your design is more anti-consumer than all other large laptop brands, and yes i am including apple (the macbook air sucks too, but it's just a bunch of tiny components you need to remove and the battery isn't glued down.)

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Repair a surface? Good luck!

      Do any surface models have a battery that can be replaced relatively easily?

      On the wider question, are any legislators looking to ban consumer electronics with non-replaceable batteries?

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Repair a surface? Good luck!

        "Do any surface models have a battery that can be replaced relatively easily?"

        Surprisingly , yes. Although the official MS repair guides specify that if you remove the battery in most models for any reason, you must replace the battery and not reuse it. Most have very few replaceable parts, and some require you place a pad over the screen and something in the region of 20Kg/50lb weight on top for 30 mins to "fix" the glue when installing a new display panel.

  4. elsergiovolador Silver badge


    If they don't offer parts down to individual chips, this is just a variant of greenwashing.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does Apple actually brick out of support devices?

    I'd love to see evidence of that and show it to a lawyer. I smell a mega sized class action pending.

    If they just stop issuing updates then that is not bricking is it?

    Strangely, I am in the middle of installing MacOS Sonoma 14.0 onto a 2012 15in MBP. It works very well thanks to the people behind OpenCorePatcher.

    A 2009 27in iMac sort of worked but was a bit iffy. We later found out that the HDD controller was about to go TITSUP. We bought one off eBay and now it also runs Sonoma.

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