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Official Ubuntu Desktop Support For Home Users

Trust me to miss the memo, but somewhere along the line Canonical started selling support services to home users as well as businesses and enterprises via the official Ubuntu Store.

Before your eyes gloss over in fear of thousand-dollar fee’s, the price structure is quite competitive and would be more than tempting for a weary newbie who wanted the security of help down a phoneline.Windows Support
Daring to utter the ‘M’ word – Microsoft – it’s worth nothing that Windows OS does come with very basic free support – however in a roundabout way you’re still paying for it by having to buy the OS in the first place. Canonical are just tipping the scales the opposite way – a free OS with paid support.

“Buy telephone and email support to help you install, personalise and configure your desktop to your own needs, whether you are a beginner or a proficient Linux user.” ~ Canonical Store

In theory no one need pay for support at all thanks to the indomitable helpfulness of the Ubuntu Forums but for users who are either used to being able to phone up a help-desk or prefer getting an answer pronto this service provides just what they need.

Options
The ‘Desktop Support’ services available comes in three ‘tiers’

  • Starter Support
  • Advanced Support
  • Professional Support

All are available for either 1 year or 3 years and all include: –

  • Live phone support 9am – 5pm
  • Email support
  • Security upgrades
  • Product upgrades

Ubuntu Starter Support
[1 year = £34.73]

The “basic” package provides support for choosing, unstalling and configuring application (but oddly not Messaging applications) and is most akin to Microsoft’s “free” OS support.

Aimed at helping users: –

  • Creating word-processed documents, spreadsheets or presentations
  • Configuring office applications
  • Installing common plugins, such as Flash, from Ubuntu repositories
  • Troubleshooting and resolving multimedia problems
  • Help with creating and editing photo albums

Etc.

Advanced Desktop Service
[1 year support = £72.63]

The advanced package is what i’d consider to be the most helpful package. The Starter Service may seem okay, but if a new user runs into some hardware issues they’ll soon be regretting not getting the Advanced package.

Some key help areas covered by the Advanced Service are: –

  • Help with partitioning, migrating and security
  • Hardware support
  • Optimising Ubuntu performance with specific hardware

Professional Desktop Service
[1 year = £138.03]

This ‘king’ package provides support for features your average desktop user wouldn’t really take advantage of, such as: –

  • Remote Desktop setup, configuration and support
  • Windows network access
  • Virtualisation
  • A free t-shirt

and is likely aimed at small businesses/self-employed users who need their free OS to talk to other OSes.

You’ll find a full comparison @ ubuntu.com/support/services/desktopcomparison