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Microsoft Launches $99/Hr. Support Service

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 (Reuters)

Microsoft recently launched a tech support website that users could use when encountering technical problems.

This new help desk service, named as "Answer Desk" is described as a new service that the company offers to their users. Through this service, users are able to chat with a "tech expert" that could aid in terms of getting rid of malware in PCs, improving speed of a machine, solve problems with MS Windows or MS Office, and many more. The Answer Desk Web portal indicates that there are at least 15 "tech experts" that are ready to help and users can chat with them for free if they are available. The profile for these "tech experts" also shows that these experts have wide and varied technological knowledge based on the number of cases that they have handled. Users should take note that Microsoft Answer Desk is different from Microsoft Answers, a consumer-oriented forum page.

There are certain services that are offered for free but it is limited. These "free services" include a "complimentary consult chat" and "complimentary troubleshooting session". The tech expert would be the one to decide to fix the problem for free or to fix it with charging a service fee. Premium software support costs US$99 per hour which covers PC diagnosis, software updates, and dedicated chat. Virus removal costs US$99 as well for a span of 2 hours. It also includes addressing spyware issues and PC security configurations. There is also an option personal training on Microsoft software (US$49 per hour) and advanced 2-hour tune-up service for PCs (US$99). The products supported for this feature are considered as "Microsoft's latest software" like Windows 7 or Microsoft Office 2010.

The launch of Microsoft's Answer Desk was relatively a quite one since it did not receive any press release, promotional activities, or even a feature in Microsoft's official website. Instead, Answer Desk could be found in the Microsoft Store site where Microsoft products like Xbox, notebooks, tablets, etc. are sold. This is not the first time Microsoft has offered software support services. Microsoft has offered these types of services before as part of the company's lifecycle product support policy.