For Pc Support, Dial A Techie

Everybody likes low prices. Just ask the many individuals and corporations buying PCs through the mail and at discount superstores. Still, many businesses continue to need the services they used to get from traditional, full-service retail outlets: loading special software, installing add-in boards, checking machines for glitches, and getting help when needed.Top PC makers, such as Dell, Compaq, Digital Equipment, and IBM, have been providing some of these services themselves, even as they fight a price war. PC Direct Support Inc., in Kansas City, Mo., hopes to offer such services on a contract basis to second-tier players and other customers. PC Direct says it's talking with several PC makers but has signed no deals so far. The company is currently marketing telephone hotline services provided by software distributor Corporate Software to small companies and individuals. One early customer: Shearson Lehman Brothers Inc., which is advising its 9,000 independent brokers to dial in for help running any of 850 software packages.

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