Microsoft Applies New Technologies to Enhance Online Support Site

REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 3, 1996 — Microsoft® technical support has redefined its online support offerings, putting the power to resolve common questions directly in customers’ hands. Advances in technology and a site redesign based on extensive customer feedback make the http://www.microsoft.com/support/ site easy to use and a key support resource for a broad cross-section of users. New to the site are 12 Troubleshooting Wizards and an optional support wizard interface that help Web users explore the online support content. In addition, any Microsoft customer can now submit a fee-based support incident electronically via the support page.

Empowering Customers to Help Themselves

Microsoft’s new support Troubleshooting Wizards use a probability-based inference technology to act as assistants to the customer, guiding them through diagnosis and resolution of common questions much as a support engineer does over the phone. Microsoft’s first dozen Troubleshooting Wizards assist customers with topics including printing; setting up the Windows® 95 operating system, Microsoft Office 95 and the Visual FoxPro
™
database; installation and start-up of multimedia applications; mail merges; and video display troubleshooting.

Support Wizard Gets Customers Where They Want to Go, Quickly

Novice Web users will benefit from the Support Wizard’s exploration assistance, which helps customers access at a glance the information pertinent to their questions. The Support Wizard asks users easy-to-understand questions and then retrieves information from all online support resources, including the Microsoft Knowledge Base, Software Library and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Direct links to these resources are readily available on the toolbar as an alternative to using the Support Wizard, if preferred.

Electronic Incident Submission

With the introduction of pay-per-incident support online, any Microsoft customer in the United States can submit fee-based support incidents via the support page. Online support delivery is divided into three components: priority contract support (for customers who already have a multiple-incident priority support contract), per-incident support (for any customer requiring fee-based support on a single question) and primary support for Microsoft developer products (this includes the initial no-charge support incidents available with every developer product).

Each incident has a separate identification number, which the customer can use to check the status of the incident at any time. Microsoft is committed to having a support engineer respond to an incident within one business day.

“The enhancements to the Microsoft Internet support site will make a real difference in customers’ ability to access the support resources they need and to effectively use the information,”
said Linda Glenicki, general manager of Microsoft technical support.
“Microsoft technical support is dedicated to pioneering online support technology, maintaining unparalleled support content and making it easy for all Microsoft customers to use.” Additional Refinements

  • Content in the FAQs, providing answers to many of the most commonly asked questions for more than 75 Microsoft products, has been enhanced.

  • Information of special interest to office developers, gamers and Web site builders is compiled in an easily accessible site.

  • No-charge incident submission is being offered for certain consumer online products, such as the Expedia
    ™
    travel services.

  • More than 300 support newsgroups are available through the support site to provide Microsoft customers with peer-to-peer technical assistance.

A Festive Link for the Holidays

A newly created Holiday Tips page will help Microsoft customers make the most of their gifts and purchases this year. Live from Dec. 4 through early January at http://www.microsoft.com/support/holiday/, it includes troubleshooters, FAQs, testimonials, tips and tricks and other assistance on interactive media and home products.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
“MSFT”
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, Windows, Visual FoxPro and Expedia are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

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