MSDN and MSDA Support Web Sites Honored as Two of Nation’s 10 Best

REDMOND, Wash., Aug. 23, 1999 — In just a few years, the Internet has become an increasingly vital tool and information resource for millions of people around world — and that is as true for business users as it is for those who go online from home. The Internet is quickly revolutionizing the way business is conducted: organizations ranging from nonprofits to small businesses to Fortune 500 enterprises are relying more and more heavily on the Internet’s speed and ease-of-use for communication and information. The Internet has also become a valuable reference source — an almost limitless archive for myriad subjects.

Recognizing the potential and growing popularity of online resources, many corporations have established Web sites to provide their customers with superior service and support, and rapid responses to their problems and questions. Microsoft has been a leader in providing online customer service and support, and two of Microsoft’s key technical support Web sites were recently selected by a panel of judges for inclusion in the Association of Support Professionals’
“Top Ten Web Support Sites of 1999.”

The Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) and Microsoft Direct Access (MSDA) Web sites were selected because of their performance and ease of use, appearance, appropriate content for customer segment and feedback loop for customer input. Microsoft Product Support Services provides the online support content and structure for both sites.

Microsoft Product Support Services recently worked to redesign its support sites — organizing information and data around customer segments rather than traditional product lines. Sites are now geared to home users, information technology (IT) professionals, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), resellers and consultants, developers, Microsoft Certified Solution Providers (MCSPs), value-added providers (VAPs) and enterprise customers.

Extensible Markup Language (XML) was added to re-tag online articles and information, resulting in faster, more thorough searches for users. And to help with the increasing traffic that often slows information access, Microsoft added additional servers to boost performance, and developed a set of protocols to troubleshoot and remedy pages with poor load times.

More than 2 million Web developers worldwide use the MSDN site, which provides tools, technologies and educational information pertinent to developers. The Direct Access site is geared to consultants and resellers, and contains information ranging from technical support to online sales and marketing resources. MSDA targets more than 300,000 technology-provider organizations in North America and 750,000 worldwide.

Microsoft Product Support Services provides a wide array of resources, ranging from phone to online support, to enable the greatest customer success with Microsoft products. With an extensive and experienced professional staff ready to respond 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Product Support Services is always prepared to provide Microsoft customers with the support they need when, where and how they need it.

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