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Microsoft and iFixit launch Pro Tech Network gadget repair site

Microsoft and gadget repair website iFixit have announced the launch of Pro Tech Network, a service designed to teach more people how to fix gadgets.

The partnership should help give people the skills they need to fix devices, set up businesses and recycle the valuable materials within electronic products.

Read more: iFixit tears down the Samsung Galaxy Gear 2, so what did it discover?

The Pro Tech Network will offer in-depth repair manuals, a community to ask questions and share advice and marketing tips.

Josh Henretig, Microsoft's group manager for Environmental Sustainability, believes the service could help cut down on electric waste.

"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," he said.

"Some studies have suggested that you would need to use a tablet or phone for tens of years before the usage footprint was larger than the manufacturing footprint. With this in mind, anything that can be done to extend the life of these smaller, low-power devices can have a positive environmental benefit."

iFixit regularly score devices on their "repairability," and so already have knowledge of how hard some products are to fix.

Director of marketing at iFixit, Jeff Snyder, said that his firm was pleased to partner with Microsoft and hoped it could help improve tech skills for many people.

"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," he said in a blog post.

Read more: HTC One M8 becomes second hardest phone to repair ever...after the HTC One

"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."