In March, Irene Plenefisch, a senior director of government affairs at Microsoft, sent an email to the eight members of the Washington state Senate’s Environment, Energy, and Technology Committee, which was about to hold a hearing to discuss a bill intended to facilitate the repair of consumer electronics.
Typically, when consumer tech companies reach out to lawmakers concerning right-to-repair bills — which seek to make it easier for people to fix their devices, thus saving money and reducing electronic waste — it’s because they want them killed. Plenefisch, however, wanted the committee to know that Microsoft, which is headquartered in Redmond, Washington, was on board with this one, which had already passed the Washington House.
“I am writing to state Microsoft’s support for E2SHB 1392,” also known as the Fair Repair Act, Plenefisch wrote in an email to the committee. “This bill fairly balances the interests of manufacturers, customers, and independent repair shops and in doing so will provide more options for consumer device repair.”