Microsoft’s new patent: Making surface changes easier.

Based on the iFixit team’s previous disassembly experience, the Microsoft Surface product line is more difficult to repair, so serviceability scores tend to be lower in the impression given to consumers. Microsoft has also been working to improve its product image, and according to the latest approved technology patents, the company has plans to make it easier to change surface screens.

Microsoft's new patent: Making surface changes easier.

‘When you replace touch screen modules (TDMs), you often need a late-stage calibration,’ the patent says. “In the event of a TDM failure, the computing equipment in question is either scrapped or returned to the original equipment manufacturer’s facility for repair,” the patent reads. Field replacement of TDM is often not possible because there is no safe way to recalibrate the touch controller so that it can function properly by replacing the TDM”.

Microsoft's new patent: Making surface changes easier.

But Microsoft has now come up with a solution that involves adding a unique ID to TDM so that the laptop knows it has been replaced and triggers a calibration sequence. The systems and methods currently available allow the touch controller in the computing device to be safely recalibrated to function properly with the new TDM panel built into the computing device. More specifically, the systems and methods currently publicly available provide a mechanism for identifying that TDM has been replaced in the field to unlock calibration data.

Microsoft's new patent: Making surface changes easier.

This feature will allow technicians to replace a broken screen in the office without having to send it to Microsoft for repair or scrapping. The patent, entitled “FIELD REPLACEABLE TOUCH DISPLAY MODEL”, is dated February 2019 and can be found here in full.