Microsoft and Certiport announce 2015 Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship

REDMOND, Wash., and SALT LAKE CITY — Nov. 18, 2014 — Microsoft Corp. and Certiport Inc., a Pearson VUE business, on Monday announced the dates for the 2015 Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) World Championship, the most popular technology skills competition for Microsoft Office since its inception in 2002. The popular Microsoft Office competition is the only one endorsed by Microsoft, providing a platform for students to showcase their expert skills using Microsoft Office tools and gain the upper hand in today’s competitive academic and professional marketplace.

The 2015 contest marks the introduction of Microsoft Office Specialist 2013 exams to the competition. Certiport will award higher scholarship prizes for 2013 exam competition tracks. In all, students will compete in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint tracks for Office 2010 and 2013.

“Our Office group is delighted to see the enthusiasm and dedication of the young competitors in the MOS World Championship,” said John Case, corporate vice president for Microsoft Office. “They can really put the Office suite through its paces, and those skills will serve them well in whatever career they eventually pursue.”

The championship, entering its 13th year, will see countries from around the world host local competitions to determine country and regional representatives based on exam scores and completion times. The deadline for all qualifying exams is June 15, 2015. Selected finalists will then compete in the 2015 MOS World Championship held in Dallas, Texas, Aug. 9–12, 2015.

“We expect continued growth in this high-stakes competition — last year we had nearly 750,000 exam entries, and more than 40 countries participated in the MOS World Championship,” said Bob Whelan, president and CEO for Pearson VUE. “The event is more than fun and prizes; Microsoft Office Specialist certification prepares students for future success in college and careers. In the end anyone who earns certification is a winner with a valuable credential on their resume to prove their skills.”

To participate, students ages 13 to 22 must submit a passing score on the MOS Word 2013, Excel 2013, PowerPoint 2013, Word 2010, Excel 2010 or PowerPoint 2010 exams and attend an approved, accredited learning institution. Regional participation and availability varies by country. Further details can be obtained by contacting a local Certiport Solution Provider or contacting Certiport at MOSchampionship@pearson.com. The Microsoft Office Specialist certification is the only official Microsoft-recognized certification for Microsoft Office globally.

This year the MOS World Championship welcomes deeper collaboration with Microsoft IT Academies (ITAs). Many participating students prepare for the competition using the curriculum and lesson planning materials offered through their school by the Microsoft ITA program. This program provides schools with flexible curriculum, customizable lesson plans and professional development opportunities for teachers.

“We’re really pleased to participate in the 2015 MOS World Championship and see the great things students do with Microsoft Office,” said Alison Cunard, general manager of Microsoft Learning Experiences, which manages Microsoft ITA. “We think the benefits of the ITA program combined with a global competition raise the bar for students to have fun while learning the 21st century technology skills they need for success.”

Participants who outperform their peers to make the final round of the World Championship generally have perfect or near-perfect exam scores and completion times well below the allotted examination time. The top three winners in each category will receive scholarship prizes for $5,000, $2,500 and $1,000, respectively.

A video highlighting last year’s winners and their worldwide press coverage can be found here, and the 2015 MOS World Championship promo video can be found here.

About Certiport

Certiport, a Pearson VUE business, is the leading provider of certification exam development, delivery and program management services delivered through an expansive network of over 12,000 Certiport Authorized Testing Centers worldwide. Certiport manages a sophisticated portfolio of leading certification programs including: the official Microsoft Office Specialist certification program, the Microsoft Technology Associate certification program, the Microsoft Certified Educator program, the Adobe® Certified Associate certification program, the HP Accredited Technical Associate, the Autodesk Certified User certification program, the Intuit QuickBooks Certified User certification program, and the IC3 Digital Literacy certification. Certiport reliably delivers over three million tests each year throughout the secondary, post-secondary, workforce, and corporate technology markets in more than 148 countries and 27 languages worldwide. For more information, please visit http://www.certiport.com or follow Certiport on Twitter at www.twitter.com/certiport.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

“Certiport” and “IC3” are registered trademarks of Certiport Inc. in the United States and other countries.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

Real Madrid C.F. and Microsoft join forces to accelerate the digital transformation of the club

Left to right: Real Madrid President Florentino Perez, Microsoft Country Manager of Spain Maria Garaña and Microsoft Corporate Vice President and Chairman, Emerging Markets, Orlando Ayala.
Left to right: Real Madrid President Florentino Perez, Microsoft Country Manager of Spain Maria Garaña and Microsoft Corporate Vice President and Chairman, Emerging Markets, Orlando Ayala.

MADRID — Nov. 18, 2014 — Real Madrid C.F. and Microsoft have signed a landmark agreement accelerating the digital transformation of the club through technology. This alliance, through which Microsoft becomes the strategic technological partner of Real Madrid, will revolutionize the experience enjoyed by members and supporters of the club by providing digital services that are accessible anywhere, anytime and on a host of devices (such as PCs, tablets, smartphones and wearables).

The agreement provides for a number of different initiatives and technological developments that will be unveiled in the upcoming months. These advances will serve to make Real Madrid the football club that delivers a comprehensive and streamlined online experience to its supporters, leading the way in the digital transformation of the sports industry.

Florentino Pérez, chairman of Real Madrid C.F., and Orlando Ayala, corporate vice president and chairman, Emerging Markets at Microsoft, announced this strategic partnership at an event hosted at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, and at which Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, participated with a video message. The announcement was also streamed live online, so Real Madrid fans around the world could hear about this milestone in the history of both organizations.

Nadella highlighted that “At Microsoft we are fully committed to ensuring that people from across the world can make the most of each moment of their lives. Amazing things can happen by providing people with the right tools, just when they need them in order to interact, create or share everything they can imagine. We are delighted to offer these tools to millions of Real Madrid fans worldwide and help make their passion for football much more exciting.”

Ayala focused on what this agreement means for supporters of the club: “Today is the start of a long journey that Real Madrid and Microsoft are embarking on together, heading toward the full digital revolution of the club. This new era translates into an unprecedented personalized experience for supporters that will allow millions of fans from all over the planet to enjoy their passion for Real Madrid anywhere, anytime and on any device.”

Fans of the club, stars of this agreement

The first step in the collaboration between Real Madrid and Microsoft will be to build a digital platform that will revolutionize the way in which Madridistas can follow their team and share their passion for the club. Through cutting-edge technologies, supporters of Real Madrid will be able to access experiences, content and exclusive digital services, either at the stadium, at home or in any other location. Fans will improve their interaction with players and the club, making it even more personal, direct and exciting.

A host of online services will provide an enriched experience for watching matches. For instance, supporters of the club will be able to access the stadium virtually, before, during and after each game, selecting the content they want to see when they want to and where they want to see it. The aim of this technological initiative is to make Madridistas the real stars of their own experience by allowing them to view and consume the content they want and also create and share it with their friends on social media and other digital channels.

Services and devices

This agreement also provides for the use of services and devices, such as Surface Pro 3, by players and coaching staff as key work tools, with the aim of enhancing the performance and efficiency of the team. New internal collaboration and communication solutions will also be adopted, as well as the latest technology trends in areas such as cloud computing or big data.

In addition, both organizations will collaborate by exchanging and facilitating access to useful information and knowledge on the application of technology in the sports industry and assess potential partnerships on joint research projects with Microsoft Research in this area.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.