MICROSOFT HAS JOINED teardown outfit iFixit to launch a training service that aims to spur the growth of small businesses offering smartphone and tablet repairs.
The Pro Tech Network will see Microsoft and iFixit offer free training on smartphone, tablet and PC repairs to help people start small businesses offering such services.
Microsoft is also using the service to bolster its green credentials, as it said repair services will save many of the precious materials, including copper, gold, lead and zinc, used in such gadgets.
Microsoft group manager for environmental sustainability Josh Henretig said in a blog post, "By providing free online training for people to set up a phone, tablet or PC repair business, we hope to increase the reuse of these devices."
"Ideally, if more local people offer repair, refurbishment and recycling services, more of these valuable resources can be driven back into the production cycle, supporting the idea of a circular economy.
"In this type of system, everything we use gets reused and recycled, reducing our need for virgin raw materials."
In iFixit, Microsoft has partnered with a firm that knows all there is to know about gadget repairs, with its teardown experts known for pulling apart flagship devices and giving them a "repairability score".
Jeff Snyder, director of marketing at iFixit, said that the firm is pleased to work with Microsoft to launch the Pro Tech Network, as part of its efforts to give people the skills to fix and repair gadgets.
"The explosion of mobile devices means the refurbishment industry will need new knowledge, tools and techniques to meet new challenges. The Pro Tech Network helps people learn to repair PCs, smartphones and tablets - and create businesses with these skills.
"Written by iFixit and sponsored by Microsoft, the Pro Tech Network collaboration ensures up-to-date business methods and repair documentation will be free and accessible, even as technology continues to change." µ