Microsoft working to boost ‘Fix it’ button’s ability for Windows 7

16 Feb 2009

Microsoft’s ‘Fix It’ automated support button has been used by more than 75,000 users in the past two months and, encouraged by its success, the company is working on expanding self-diagnosis and self-healing, as well as remote customer support via broadband in time for Windows 7’s launch.

Of the 75,000 users who have used the ‘Fix It’ button, the company claims there has been a 95pc success rate in resolving their issue without needing further help.

Microsoft’s general manager for Product Quality Online Lori Brownell told the ‘Fix It’ button is currently available in more than 100 Knowledge Base (KB) articles, and users can click a button to automate steps that in the past were fixed manually.

Typical problems that can be fixed using the ‘Fix It’ button include printing stuck in the print queue in Windows XP or receiving a ‘Runtime Error’ when you view webpages in Internet Explorer.

“We have deployed ‘Fix It’ buttons for around 114 different common problems and we’re working to increase that,” Brownell explained. “We’re going after the low-hanging fruit first in terms of common problems and we’ll expand it as we go along.”

Looking into the future of problem-solving, Brownell believes programmable solutions to problems will be the first step followed by ways of detecting problems before the user even is aware there is a problem.

“You will see major advances in Windows 7 that will allow customers’ computers to analyse and proactively provide ‘Fix Its’ to problems.

“We are working to put more diagnostic tools in products so that customers can self-troubleshoot. With Windows 7, we will be able to bring customers to a point where their computers can do self-diagnosis and self-healing.

“In the present economy, the notion of paying for IT support is not ideal, so we’re looking at putting intelligent tools in software that empowers consumers to intercept problems, troubleshoot and fix if possible.

“Over the next six to nine months, expect to see more self-troubleshooting and self-healing software being made available from the Microsoft support site,” Brownell said.

By John Kennedy