Support.com

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Support.com, Inc.
Type Public (NASDAQSPRT)
Industry Services, Tech Support, Help Desk, Online tech support
Founded 1997
Headquarters Redwood City, California, USA
Key people Elizabeth Cholawsky (CEO)
Roop Lakkaraju (CFO)
Greg Wrenn (General Counsel & Secretary)
Owners Public
Subsidiaries
Website www.support.com

Support.com, Inc. is a US-based multinational computer technology corporation that provides online tech support. It is headquartered in Redwood City, California, USA. Support.com provides online computer support to consumers and home-based business across the United States and Canada via remote access. Their services are performed on PCs running Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Apple machines running Mac OS X 10.5 or higher, with a high-speed broadband connection.

History[edit]

Support.com was incorporated in Delaware in December 1997 under the name Replicase, Inc.[1] The company started in a subleased corner of an Excite@Home office by Mark Pincus, Scott Dale, and Cadir Lee. At that time the focus was on developing and improving what the company referred to as their "DNA Probe" technology. The technology allowed for probing a Windows application executable and determining all its dependencies (Registry, Filesystem, DLLs, etc.)

Just a few months later, in September 1997, Pincus, with the help of two programmers/partners, he launched a software company in Redwood City, Calif., called Replicase Inc. Having already hired 15 employees, he said he spent most of his time "handling administrative crap," mapping out his business strategy, and, of course, networking. "So pleased" was SoftBank's Lax with his last deal with Pincus that the venture firm invested $2.5 million in Replicase. FreeLoader is already a distant memory. Reflecting on its demise, Pincus says, "It was a bummer, but it wasn't the end of the world."

In October 1998 the company was renamed Tioga Systems, Inc.,[2] coinciding with the relocation of the corporate headquarters to Palo Alto. The company's focus moved to "Self-Healing Software" - the idea that Windows applications could automatically fix any problems they encountered.[citation needed]

In 1999 Radha Basu took over as CEO, coming from HP.[3][4]

In December 1999, the company again changed its corporate name to support.com, Inc.[5] with the acquisition of the domain support.com[6] from Tom Theo Klemesrud, and focused on providing web-based software solutions for enterprise IT, referred to as PCHealth eSupport.[7] The IPO took place on July 19, 2000, backed by Credit Suisse First Boston.[8][9][10]

On March 28, 2002, support.com was renamed to SupportSoft, Inc.[11]

In 2006 Josh Pickus became CEO, coming from Computer Associates. His goal was to restructure the company and get on the path to growth. This led to a consumer facing operation for the company. The corporate headquarters were moved to the Pacific Shores Center, Redwood City, California.

On June 23, 2009 the enterprise technology of SupportSoft was acquired by Consona Corporation. The company was renamed back to Support.com.[12]

On December 31,2013 Both Support.com and Comcast entered in to a termination agreement as reported during the quarterly reporting which would set to end the contract between the two companies which would end the Signature Support Services on March 31, 2014.This resulted in Support.com to downsize and terminate several hundred employees in the workforce as well as subsequently downsizing their corporate office employees as well.[13]

On April 1, 2014, Josh Pickus resigned from his position as an officer and director. Mr. Pickus agreed to remain an advisor to the Board of Directors following his departure.[14]

AOL's Computer Checkup "scareware" Litigation[edit]

On February 27, 2012 a class action lawsuit was filed against Support.com, Inc. and partner AOL, Inc. The lawsuit alleged Support.com and AOL's Computer Checkup "scareware" (which uses software developed by Support.com) misrepresented that their software programs would identify and resolve a host of technical problems with computers, offered to perform a free “scan,” which often found problems with users' computers. The companies then offered to sell software -- for which AOL allegedly charged $4.99 a month and Support.com $29 -- to remedy those problems.[15] Both AOL, Inc. and Support.com, Inc. settled on May 30, 2013 for $8.5 million. This included $25.00 to each valid class member and $100,000 each to Consumer Watchdog and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.[16] Judge Corley wrote: “Distributing a portion of the [funds] to Consumer Watchdog will meet the interests of the silent class members because the organization will use the funds to help protect consumers across the nation from being subject to the types of fraudulent and misleading conduct that is alleged here,” and “EFF’s mission includes a strong consumer protection component, especially in regards to online protection.”[15]

AOL continues to market Computer Checkup.[17] It is not clear if this latest Computer Checkup continues to use scareware techniques.[citation needed]

Directors[edit]

  • Jim Stephens - Chairman of the Board and temporary CEO
  • Shawn Farschi - Director
  • Mark Fries - Director
  • J Martin O'Malley - Director
  • Michael Linton - Director
  • Toni Portmann - Director

Office Locations[edit]

  • Support.com Corporate Headquarters are located in Redwood City, California
  • Sammsoft Office is located in Sammamish, Washington
  • SUPERAntiSpyware office is located in Eugene, Oregon
  • RightHand IT office is located in Louisville, Colorado
  • Satellite office in Bangalore, India

Patents[edit]

  • US 6167358, "System and method for remotely monitoring a plurality of computer-based systems" 
  • US 6754707, "Secure computer support system" 
  • US 8020190, "Enhanced browser security" 
  • US WO0131875, Richards, Mark; Scott Dale & Cadir Lee, "Secure computer maintenance system", published 5/3/2001 

References[edit]

External links[edit]