Microsoft bumps support prices for Windows, Office

Microsoft's per-incident customer support prices were quietly bumped last week as the company rolled out the newest version of its operating system, Windows Vista. Prices for both Windows Vista and XP support were raised, from $39 to $59 per incident while support prices for Office XP and Office 2007 went from $35 to $49 per […]

Microsoft's per-incident customer support prices were quietly bumped last week as the company rolled out the newest version of its operating system, Windows Vista. Prices for both Windows Vista and XP support were raised, from $39 to $59 per incident while support prices for Office XP and Office 2007 went from $35 to $49 per incident. General support inquiries as well as inquiries for less prominent software, such as Microsoft Money, remain at $35 per incident.

"This change was timed in conjunction with the worldwide launch of Windows Vista and 2007 Microsoft Office system to retail customers but was made public on December 8," a Microsoft spokesperson told Ars. A support page on Microsoft's web site acknowledges the "expanded" pricing options for Vista and Office 2007 support—"An expanded pricing model will be available for assisted support incidents to provide more personalized support options based on customers’ technology usage," the page reads. New retail customers, however, will be able to get 90 days of support free of charge, and Microsoft says that the company will always help customers with virus or security issues for free. Comparatively, Apple offers 90 days of free phone support for Mac OS X and consumer applications, after which, users must pay a per-incident fee of $49 if they have not purchased AppleCare for their machine.

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Microsoft, Windows, Microsoft Office, Support