Have you ever tried to help a non-computer-expert friend or relative troubleshoot a technical problem by talking with them over the phone? It is almost impossible. I have participated in many conversations similar to the following: "OK, click on the red icon. Now scroll down. Click on the that says 'Open Recent.' What do you see now?"
Yes, it can be done but there is a much easier way. Customer support professions have used remote desktop programs for years. Using such software means that both people in the conversation can see the same things on one computer at the same time. Dozens of remote desktop products are available these days, but Google has just introduced one of the easiest such products to use. While Google did release a free remote-access Chrome extension about 18 months ago, the company has now added similar capabilities in Google Hangouts.
This means you can video chat, troubleshoot, and control a friend's computer (with your friend's permission, of course) right in the same window without leaving Google Hangouts. You can install new software, troubleshoot problems, or teach the remote person how to use a particular application. You can simultaneously see and talk with the remote person directly in Google Hangouts; there is no need to talk on the telephone while using a speakerphone or a handset cradled awkwardly between your shoulder and your ear. Best of all, your non-technical friend does not need to install any software in advance to make the session work.
To start using the remote desktop feature, load up a Hangout and then head into View More Apps > Add Apps > Hangouts Remote Desktop. From there, just enable the app, and you can start troubleshooting your friend's computer from right inside the Hangout.