The Microsoft Office World Championships

The Microsoft Office World Championships

While the Rio 2016 Olympics were capturing the attention of millions of people around the world, dozens of young people from various nations came together in Florida to prove their Microsoft Office 2010 and 2013.

Not many people are familiar with the Microsoft Office Specialist World Championships. This is an international competition sponsored by Microsoft and Certiport, a firm that is a leader in the computer and software certification industry. This unique competition is open to young contestants who are between the ages of 13 to 22, and it is focused on the core components of Microsoft Office 2010: Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

What It Takes to Compete

The average business user of Microsoft Office in Canada would not be able to compete against these 150 young contestants who arrived in Orlando from 40 nations. To get an idea of the scope of this competition, it helps to consider that nearly 700,000 hopefuls passed the initial trials and submitted their applications.

Over the three days of the championship tournament, the contestants sat in front of computers and completed various tasks, which included creating documents, troubleshooting scenarios and even coding macros in Visual Basic.

This tournament has been around for 15 years, and it serves to promote the Microsoft Office Specialist Certification, which is not as popular as other professionals certs offered by the Seattle tech giant. With these certifications and the experience from the tournament, these young contestants will certainly be able to enter the business world with ease.

Why Microsoft Office 2010?

Those who may be wondering why the tournament included a Microsoft Office version that was released more than five years ago, the answer will make perfect sense. This championship reflects the reality and current trends of the business world. Although Microsoft Office 2016 and the cloud-based Office 365 are the most recent versions of this productivity software, many companies are still using the 2010 version and will probably continue to do so for years to come.

Office 2010 is still a staple of business offices in the developing nations where many of the contestants came from. As can be expected, contestants from Asia dominated the tournament, which resulted in honours for the teams from Hong Kong and Macau.

The award for first place included a cash prize of $7,500 and tickets to local attractions in Orlando. No contestants from Canada have earned a top-five spot in the last few years; in fact, the only recent winners from the Americas have been from the United States and from the Dominican Republic.