Microsoft has quietly launched a support website where experts charge $99 for one- or two-hour sessions designed to rid PCs of malware, speed up a machine or solve problems with Windows or Office.

Answer Desk debuted with no fanfare from Microsoft, which has not deigned to mention the new service in a press release or promote it on the front page of its domain, or even, surprisingly, on its consumer-slanted Windows website.

One of the few places the service does appear is on the Microsoft Store site, where Microsoft sells its own software, the Xbox game system and select OEM's Windows desktops, notebooks, tablets and smartphones.

The new support option is so low-key that Microsoft apparently scrubbed a Dec. 9 blog announcing Answer Desk. The blog, penned by Blake Morrison -- listed on LinkedIn as a Microsoft senior support escalation engineer -- no longer exists on Microsoft's TechNet blog network, although a cached edition was still available Tuesday morning.

According to, Answer Desk launched last Wednesday. Previously, the same site had reported that Microsoft had acquired the domain last September from a firm called NameRally, a Los Angeles, Calif. "domain parking" company.

Full story: Computerworld