Microsoft stealthily launches Answer Desk for premium online tech support

 In the shadow of its large Xbox dashboard release, Microsoft has quietely rolled out an online version of the Answer Desk many have experienced at Microsoft retail stores. PC users can receive premium tech support without having to leave their homes.

Answerdesk.com offers its troubleshooting services every hour of the day, 365 days a year. However, training sessions need to be scheduled. The website touts its support as, “dedicated to solving your PC issues without resorting to technology jargon,” which makes its seem like Answer Desk is aiming at being very user-friendly.

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Users will have the ability to choose any of the online Answer Techs based on their profiles,which detail expertise, or number of cases worked on. Some profiles will show that a Tech is bilingual. Initial complementary chats are available via phone or instant message where the Answer Tech will handle basic concerns within a short amount of time. If your problem seems like it’ll take a while, the Tech will give you a quote for one of four service offers.

Services require users to have a broadband connection, Windows XP, Vista or 7, IE 7 or Firefox 3.6, 256MB RAM, 233 MHz and Flash 8. Hour long training sessions will cost $49 while virus/malware sweeps, PC Tune-ups and Premium software support will cost you $99. Technical support for a year will run you $199, but you’ll get a $100 discount if bundled with a new PC or Windows 7.

Neowin also points out that Microsoft has registered many international domains for countries like France and Japan, but are currently not active. The Answer Desk’s in Microsoft’s retail stores offer hardware and software help, along with remote services. They are modeled after Apple’s successful computer consulting Genius Bars.

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