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2006 Worldwide Competition on Microsoft Office

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Computer Press and Certiport Launch 2006 Worldwide Competition on Microsoft® Office

Fourth-Annual Global Event Expected to Draw Thousands of Student Entrants in New Zealand and Many Countries Around the World

Auckland, New Zealand – Tuesday, May 23, 2006 – Computer Press and Certiport today announced the 2006 Worldwide Competition on Microsoft® Office in New Zealand. This fourth-annual event will again search the globe for the students most skilled in the office productivity applications Microsoft® Word and Microsoft Excel. Participating countries around the world will conduct local competitions during the first half of the year to determine national champions in these applications. Then in August, more than 50 such champions will compete in Orlando, Florida, USA to determine the world champion in Microsoft Word and the world champion in Microsoft Excel.

“We have expanded the 2006 competition to encompass the more powerful, feature-rich Microsoft Office 2003, the most recent Microsoft Office system,” said David Saedi, President and CEO of Certiport. “Last year’s participation was exceptional and we anticipate even more students will want to prove their skills this year and enjoy the success of Microsoft Office Specialist certification. Our goal is to raise awareness of the need for validated desktop computing skills in achieving academic and career success.”

Eligible students who take any Microsoft Office Specialist Word 2000, 2002 (XP), or 2003, or any Microsoft Office Specialist Excel 2000, 2002 (XP), or 2003 certification exam during the competition period may register to compete. The competition in New Zealand will run from 2nd May 2006 through 21st July, 2006. Exams may be taken at Certiport authorised testing centres throughout New Zealand. Full details of the local competition can be found at www.computerpress.co.nz.

“This is the fourth year we have run the competition in New Zealand and in true Kiwi fashion our students have punched well above their weight when competing on the international stage.” said Graham Duncan Managing Director of Computer Press Ltd. We are looking forward to a very exciting competition at the national and International level.”

Maurice Alford Teacher at Lytton High School in Gisborne had this to say about previous years competition "This is an outstanding competition and I would strongly encourage schools to participate. It was fun for the students who did so in previous years - and for the winners it stood out as the highlight of their year if not their entire school career. The personal growth that I witnessed from taking one of the students to compete in the Grand Finals was tangible and itself a prize above and beyond winning the competition - although it was great to win as well!!"

Exams taken at Certiport Academic Testing Centers may be registered immediately prior to the start of the exam. Exams taken at Certiport Commercial Testing Centers may be registered by logging on to the student’s candidate home page on www.certiport.com and following the links.

This year’s competition includes the richest prizes yet with the winning students and their teacher winning Flights and accommodation to compete in the world grand finals to be held in Orlando Florida.

Graham Duncan commented that last year, more than 25,000 students from 40 countries participated in the global competition. Top-scoring students from their respective nations competed at regional events in Shanghai, Tokyo, and Paris. There will be no regional events this year as all country champions will compete in Orlando, Florida in August at the World Championship. The awards banquet in Orlando will feature international dignitaries honoring the champions for their exceptional desktop computing skills for higher education and the workplace.

For more information about the 2006 Worldwide Competition on Microsoft Office presented by Certiport and to track winners, please visit http://www.computerpress.co.nz/news/competition.htm
or www.certiport.com/competition.

About Computer Press Ltd.
Computer Press is the exclusive distributor of the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) and Internet and Computing Core Certification (IC³ ®) in New Zealand, Fiji and Guam. In addition to distributing the above certifications Computer Press provides a range of supporting courseware and practice exam systems to support and supplement these programmes. There are over 100 schools, universities, polytechnics, PTE’s, government and commercial organisations utilising these programmes within their organisations.
IC³ and MOS are both NZQA registered attracting credits at Levels 2 & 3 on the NQF framework and NCEA.
Further information can be found at www.computerpress.co.nz

About Microsoft Office Specialist
Microsoft Office Specialist is a globally recognised method of developing, certifying, and identifying superior skills with the Microsoft Office business productivity programs. Microsoft Office Specialist certification is the only Microsoft Office certification recognised by businesses throughout the world. Ninety-five percent of all businesses standardise on the Microsoft Office productivity system. To date, more than two million certifications have been issued worldwide in as many as 17 languages. For more information on the Microsoft Office Specialist Program, visit www.microsoft.com/officespecialist.

About Certiport
Certiport provides industry-leading training, assessment, and certification solutions that enable individuals to develop the skills necessary to achieve more, distinguish themselves, and advance in today’s academic and business environments. These solutions include the Microsoft® Office Specialist certification program and the Certiport Internet and Computing Core Certification (IC³ ®), delivered through a channel of more than 9,000 Certiport Centers worldwide. Certiport recently achieved the milestone of 3.3 million certification exams delivered. For more information about Certiport, visit www.certiport.com.
Certiport and IC3 are registered trademarks of Certiport, Inc. in the United States and other countries. Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries.

ENDS

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