January 03, 2008 13:19 ET

Consumers Struggle With Microsoft Vista, Malware and Network Setups, According to's First Annual Call Center Review

Popularity of Social Networks and Virtual Communities Increase Consumer Demand for Tech Support Services

REDWOOD CITY, CA--(Marketwire - January 3, 2008) -, a remote tech support service, found the majority of consumer tech issues in 2007 fell into three categories: virus and spyware issues (27 percent), tune-ups (31 percent) and simple quick fixes (32 percent), according to its first annual call center issues review. In its inaugural year, found that consumers struggled with Microsoft Vista, accounting for 10 percent of calls. The review findings also indicate an increased consumer demand for tech support in dealing with social networking and virtual game play.

Even with advances in and awareness of computer security, viruses and spyware continue to infiltrate computers, leaving consumers frustrated and unable to protect their computers properly. In 2007, technicians removed an average of 36 viruses per computer. Technicians reported this is due to exposed vulnerabilities once the computer is infected, leaving other viruses to be downloaded without detection.

"Consumers are not only demanding tech support for associated PC issues today; as the popularity of online gaming and virtual communities such as World of Warcraft and Second Life increase, we are also finding they require personalized assistance to manage these applications," said Scott Herring, vice president of marketing, "Remote tech services such as are attractive to savvy online consumers since they are easily accessible -- there's no waiting for a repair person or having to ship the PC away. We get consumers back in the game without them ever having to leave their seat."

Other review findings include:

--  While virus and spyware removal ranked as the top problem in the call
    center, slow performing PCs came in second on the list.
--  Even with increasing computer "ease of use" it is still hard to
    actually diagnose and resolve computer issues, which range from home
    network and printer setup to software installations and setting up data
--  And in the category of "weirdest issue of the year," the
    call center reported several calls of a more adult nature. For example, at
    the request of a desperate consumer, technicians successfully
    adjusted his avatar's appendage in Second Life, boosting his online

About SupportSoft and

SupportSoft (NASDAQ: SPRT) is a leading provider of software and services for technology problem resolution. The Company's solutions reduce technology support costs, improve customer satisfaction and enable new revenue streams for companies reaching 50 million users worldwide. The Company has expanded its offerings and now provides Instant Technology Relief(SM) to frustrating technology problems directly to consumers through For more information about the Company and its corporate offerings, visit; for Instant Technology Relief (SM) to consumer technology problems, visit or dial 1-800-PC-SUPPORT.

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