Microsoft's Knowledge Base is a treasure trove of helpful information regarding common hardware and software problems.
Okay, maybe not a "treasure trove," and I wouldn't say all the information is "helpful." To put it another way, Microsoft's Knowledge Base is a frequently frustrating and only sporadically useful resource.
Recognizing this, Microsoft has created the Fix It Solution Center, which is home to over 100 automated problem-solvers.
That's right: automated. Instead of manually attempting to follow the Knowledge Base instructions for a given issue ("download patch A, reformat drive B, stand on head C," etc.), you can sit back and let a Fix-It fix it for you.
These tools are divided into eight categories, including Windows, Internet Explorer, Office, and Outlook/Outlook Express. Just mouse over any of them to see the available choices, then click the one you want for a full description. If it sounds like your problem, scroll down a bit until you find the Fix It button. A wizard will take you the rest of the way.
How well does it work? Let's put it this way: There's already a Fix It for broken Fix-Its. Oh, my goodness, sometimes the material just writes itself.
Seriously, though, I'm glad to see Microsoft taking some proactive tech-support steps. The Fix It Solution Center is definitely a worthwhile destination for users who need some guided, rather than DIY, help.