Microsoft launches “Answer Desk” for premium online support, imitates Apple Genius Bar?

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Microsoft has quietly launched a new service today,, that is apparently a premium service available on demand and helps customers with their Microsoft related issues by connecting them with an “Answer Tech.” Is this Microsoft’s jab at the Apple Genius Bar?

“Answer Desk is a premium service provided by Microsoft to give you the most convenient, friendly and easy way to get the most out of your PC. Answer Desk Answer Techs are trained to diagnose and troubleshoot your Microsoft software related issues. Answer Techs are also knowledgeable to train you in Microsoft’s latest software, such as Microsoft Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010. Our Answer Techs will take care of your technology needs as quickly and easily as possible, so you can get back to your life,” the Answer Tech website reads.

The way it works is pretty simple. From what Fusible is reporting, you choose any of the Microsoft Answer Techs for a quick chat. You can view their profiles and read what they can help you out with and what experiences they have, before deciding to go with them.

“Answer Desk Answer Techs are highly trained, and qualified in their domain of knowledge, including popular software such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint. In addition, they are professional, friendly, and dedicated to solving your PC issues without resorting to technology jargon.”

Now, Apple has a similar service called a Genius Bar, which consists of “Geniuses” who are Apple trained and have knowledge on Apple products. These Geniuses can help troubleshoot problems and perform actual repairs. It would be interesting to see if Microsoft is trying to take a spin at Apple’s Genius Bar. What do you think? Is it about time Microsoft had a “Genius Bar” styled support system?