If you've ever had the experience of using Microsoft's premium Answer Desk online tech support service at a Microsoft store and found it handy, you're in for a treat. Microsoft has has reportedly rolled out an online version of Answer Desk – very quietly – so PC users can benefit from live, 24/7 premium tech support from their homes whenever they need it (though you may still need an appointment for training sessions).
According to Digital Trends Jeff Hughes, PC users will be able to choose from any of the online Answer Desk techs based on their profiles, which outline their expertise, how many cases they have worked on or the languages they speak. Brief, complimentary question-and-answer chats via telephone or instant message will help the tech determine the scope of the PC owner's issue, at which time the tech will provide a quote for one of four Answer Desk service offers.
The Answer Desk service offers four “packages” depending on your needs. There is Premium Software support, which will help with troubleshooting all Windows and Office software for $99 for a one-hour session. Virus Removal and Protection will assist with removing viruses in a safe, secure way, according to the company, helping you protect your computer from future malware invasions...at $99 for 120 minutes.
One Hour Personal Training ($49 per hour) is just what it sounds like: one-on-one training sessions with an Answer Desk “Answer Tech.” Finally, you can choose Advanced PC Tune-Up ($99 for 120 minutes) in which a tech will optimize your computer's performance (presumably by ridding you of unnecessary junk that slows down your computer's speed).
AnswerDesk.com's launch has been curiously quiet. According to PC World's Brennon Slattery, there wasn't even been a press release: curious in an era where companies issue press releases when they redecorate the restrooms in their corporate headquarters.
Tracey Schelmetic is a contributing editor for TechZone360. To read more of Tracey's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Jennifer Russell