This is not just a highly welcome initiative here at Data#3. Streamlining the repair process has been the number one ask from Microsoft’s customers, particularly as other OEM providers have had a similar service in place for quite some time now. We are also pleased to hear that Microsoft is piloting this service exclusively in Australia.
Before we dive into the particulars, let’s look at how this new Microsoft service represents a much-needed new chapter in device repairability and modern management.
Fixing out of warranty, faulty or damaged devices has typically been expensive, time-consuming and frustrating. Replacement parts can be hard to source and are often pricey. However, with the added pain of devices having to be shipped offsite, users are left using a spare or without a replacement at all. Add to this, the fact that when a device leaves a business’s premises, the exact repair location is often not known, or disclosed – this presents a huge security risk for all businesses, with almost all end-user devices storing some level of sensitive and private data which is at risk of theft or loss when it leaves the business.
The last few years have seen the right-to-repair movement shift from the fringes to the mainstream. Quite reasonably, consumers complained that the lifespan of unrepairable devices is too short and contributes to unnecessary electronic waste. The groundswell of support – accelerated by Australian legislation recommendations – for the right-to-repair movement has seen leading hardware vendors evaluate, expand and accelerate their efforts to redesign devices for longevity, reuse, repair and recycling.
So, why have devices been so hard to repair? Until recently, device manufacturers glued or soldered parts together rather than using screws, making it difficult to disassemble and repair hardware. Thankfully, this is changing. Consumers got an inkling of this when Microsoft released Surface Pro 9 with its long list of replaceable components – including the touch display module, kickstand, SSD, SSD door, battery, charging port, thermal module, motherboard, front & rear camera, Wi-Fi deck, left and right speaker, power and volume buttons, and bucket. New Surface Laptop 5 and Surface Studio 2 devices provide significant – though not as comprehensive – levels of repairability too.
The new generation of Microsoft Surface devices is undoubtedly setting the standard in repairability. However, there has been another significant hurdle to overcome – Microsoft’s monopoly over repairs. Until now, businesses have been forced to repair devices at Microsoft-authorised repair houses. Unfortunately, this has contributed to lengthy repair timeframes (days, sometimes weeks), higher costs, and – as we mentioned earlier – the requirement that devices be shipped offsite.
Microsoft has removed this repair barrier by sharing best practices – components, documentation and diagnostics – with independent suppliers. As well, repair kits are available on some earlier models. For example, Microsoft now provides schools with ‘fixer tool kits’ to help IT repair the plastic casing of Surface Laptop SE and replace components such as the keyboard.
This is good news for businesses with the latest Surface fleets (or those who are looking to upgrade).
Whilst only just launched, it looks to be a well-tuned process that ensures fast and consistent turnaround with devices securely onsite for all repairs. For streamlined IT admin, device serial numbers remain consistent across replacements.
Available in Australia for customers that purchase a Surface Pro 9 and Surface Laptop 5, these are available for in-warranty devices next business day or within two business days (depending on the location). This means that when a device needs to be fixed, a Microsoft technician will visit and repair the device onsite. No need to clear data from the device, or send it away for repairs.
Drive Retention included
Built-in SSD retention means you get to keep your SSD on business premises. In the case that a device cannot be repaired on-site, and you need a replacement, you retain your SSD, reducing possible security risks. This also means there is no need to re-image the device when it is returned.
Limited Surface devices
The service is currently only available in Australia for Surface Pro 9 and Surface Laptop 5 devices. We expect that new Surface devices released from 2023 onwards will be included in this service. Note that this service is not backwards compatible as earlier devices have not been built for repairs under this service.
On-site servicing locations – 4000 + postcodes – are currently limited to East-coast States QLD / NSW / ACT / VIC / TAS, with new States expected to be added as demand increases.
It is also worth mentioning that alongside this new Warranty announcement is another new offering from Microsoft – Extended Hardware Plus. The main difference being next business day replacement only. This means, you no longer need to purchase accidental damage protection just to get next business day replacement service.
If you’d like more information on how to add this service to your new fleet, get in touch with a Data#3 Microsoft Surface Solution Specialist today. If you are looking to upgrade your device fleet, check out our blog on the latest generation Surface devices to hit the market. Read why Surface Pro 9 and Surface Laptop 5 should be strong contenders in your device evaluation.
Data#3 is Microsoft’s largest Australian Surface partner. Our unrivalled experience improving device fulfilment and implementation for our clients, Data#3 will help you end the frustrations associated with device sourcing, deployment and warranties. We even offer training and adoption services to upskill your people on their new devices, to ensure the greatest return from your investment.
To find out more about Microsoft Surface devices please get in touch with a Surface Solution Specialist.
 Onsite Repair will be available in Australia for customers that purchase a Surface Pro 9 for Business or Surface Laptop 5