Apple is testing a new Web chat support service for iMac customers.

The service is claimed to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but only to iMac users, who Apple invites to test the service.

Web chat support means a user can get direct assistance to help them solve their problem from a human operator from within the browser.

To initiate a chat session all a user needs to do is to enter their name, iMac serial number and click on the 'Start a Web Chat' button.

"To use this service, you will need one of the following browsers: Safari 1.1 or later, Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.2 or later, or Netscape 7.2 or later (on Windows, we support Internet Explorer 5.0 or later)."

Only those who purchased an iMac within the last 90 days or who have their iMac covered under an AppleCare Protection Plan can use the service.