Friday, March 18, 2005


Microsoft Concierge

Before I suffered the pain of installing 2k3, I tried to find out if I could upgrade. The logical place to look was Microsoft, so that's where I headed. After not being able to find anything, I got referred to the Microsoft Concierge (which seems to be down at the moment, so I can't provide a link).

It was quite a simple idea - a chat window opens, I type in my question(s) and a human (or very well done AI) on the other end finds me the answer. I had a bit of trouble with the chat window - it times out a few times before I actually got a connection - but it certainly wasn't anything bad enough for me to decide not to use the service.

Once I got the session happening, I asked my questions and the guy asked me to wait while he checked. He came back to me saying that he didn't think it was possible. The session then timed out again before I could ask a follow up question. But I got the information I wanted.

This morning I had an email from Microsoft waiting for me. They wanted some feedback on the service. I answered as best I could - I often find the "how would you rate this service between 1 and 5" questions tricky, since it's never that clear cut. But I expressed my views in the comments fields.

My conclusion? I would use the Concierge again. It was a really nice thing to be able to ask my specific question and get an answer in real time. It was a bit flaky, but it's the Interneet, so what do you expect. Good idea, Microsoft.

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