Microsoft Launches 'Fix It Center' for SMBs

Monday Apr 19th 2010 by Stuart J. Johnston
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Following up on its Fix It Button, single-click bug fix technology, Microsoft aims to simplify tech support for small businesses with a more extensive automated diagnostic system.

Microsoft has begun beta testing a new automated end-user support system that aims to simplify finding and eliminating tech support problems for both end users and small- and medium-sized businesses (SMB).

Dubbed the Microsoft Fix It Center, it includes the Fix It Button technology that the company debuted last year, which gives users the option to have a bug fix automatically installed for them by simply clicking on the button.

However, the Fix it Center goes far beyond a single button for fixes, according to Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT).

"The Fix It Center ... is a client and Web-based service that guides users through the complete support experience from automated fixes (like the Fix It Button), to customized self-help in the cloud, to a seamless escalation to assisted support if needed," a Microsoft spokesperson said in an e-mail to InternetNews.com.

The Fix It Center is a free downloaded service that provides multiple, automated troubleshooting tools designed to help users diagnose and fix problems. The troubleshooting tools can either find and fix problems or can be set to find problems and notify the user.

Additionally, Fix It Center keeps records of troubleshooting sessions, hardware configurations and other useful information that can be automatically transferred to Microsoft Customer Service and Support (CSS) so that users do not have to start from zero if a problem needs to be escalated to online chat, e-mail or to a live technician.

Currently, Fix It Center includes some 300 solutions in 24 languages, according to the spokesperson. Further, users can take advantage of the service to monitor and maintain multiple devices under the same account.

Fix It Center works on Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3), XP Pro 64-bit SP2, Windows Vista, and Windows 7, as well as Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 up to Release 2.

"Fix it Center will create an environment where small businesses can focus on their business, while Microsoft provides an easier experience where software works better and, when issues do occur, support is easier," the spokesperson said.

Microsoft has not yet set a date for Fix It Center to exit beta test.

You can download Fix It Center beta here.

Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing writer at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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