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Tech Talk

By Compiled from staff and wire reports

© St. Petersburg Times, published August 21, 2000

Microsoft customers to get two free help calls

REDMOND, Wash. -- Microsoft is changing the way it helps customers deal with software problems. Customers used to receive free technical support during the first 90 days they owned a product. Beginning Sept. 14, the company will eliminate the time limit for most products, but will charge customers who need to have more than two problems fixed. The fee for each additional round of advice will be $35. Software bugs and other Microsoft-caused problems will be exempt from the fee, as will support calls that last less than one minute. Support technicians will have discretion about whether to bill customers.

AOL to release software upgrade in the fall

DULLES, Va. -- America Online Inc., the world's largest Internet service, said it will release an upgraded version of its software this year. Analysts say it has a new media player and a more customized "welcome" screen, according to Bloomberg News. The company is likely to introduce the software, version 6.0, to subscribers in September or October, said ING Barings analyst Youssef Squali, who attended an America Online analysts' meeting last week. adds travel, restaurant features

An online travel booking service, a searchable database of restaurants that have been reviewed by the Times and an updated area guide are among new features at the Web site. The redesign also includes breaking the site into categories, such as Visitors, Residents, Yellow Pages, Calendar, Restaurants, Movies and Travel, and adding pop-up maps for the event calendar.

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