Microsoft Announces Program to Empower End Users With Certification in Microsoft Office Applications

Leading Employment Agencies and Educators Embrace New Certified Microsoft Office User Program

REDMOND, Wash., June 24, 1996 — Microsoft Corp. today announced it is teaming with The Chauncey Group International Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Educational Testing Service (ETS), to provide nationwide testing centers and employment agencies with the Certified Microsoft® Office User program, a series of examinations designed to distinguish end users who are skilled in using Microsoft Office 95 applications.

The Certified Microsoft Office User program is designed for business professionals and students who use Microsoft Office 95 products to accomplish a multitude of tasks in their daily work. The program enables participants to showcase their skill level to potential employers. It benefits business professionals such as accountants, administrators, executive assistants, program managers, sales representatives, students and many others.

Certification exams are administered in a performance-based testing environment in which participants use the software applications. The content of the exams is derived from real-world document production that most accurately duplicates on-the-job performance.

“Microsoft is pleased to be implementing this program in response to the numerous requests from educators, corporations, temporary employment agencies and even end users who have asked for comprehensive Microsoft Office certification criteria,”
said Lynn Williams, manager of education for the desktop applications division at Microsoft.
“The program meets this need by setting standards for proficiency for all of these audiences.”

“The Chauncey Group is excited about working with Microsoft to provide end-user certification,”
said Lauren Hebert, director of information technology business for The Chauncey Group International.
“This relationship combines the worldwide leader in the software industry and the global leader in educational measurement and research to assist individuals and organizations with career advancement through skills certification. We see this program really benefiting temporary employment agencies, corporations and the education market.”

The Certified Microsoft Office User program will offer two levels of certification: Proficient and Expert. The candidate who wants certification determines the appropriate goal using an Office Proficiency Guideline. Training may be obtained through a variety of Approved Courseware Study Guides. Once prepared, the candidate may take exams from any participating Sylvan Test Center, participating corporations or participating employment agencies. The Certified Microsoft Office User exams will be available beginning in July 1996 for Microsoft Word for the Windows® 95 operating system. Testing for Microsoft Excel 95, the PowerPoint® 95 presentation graphics program and Microsoft Office 95 will follow in August and September 1996.

Temporary Employment Agencies Applaud User
Certification Program

Employers and employment agencies can significantly reduce uncertainty about applicants’ credentials by hiring those who have completed the Certified Microsoft Office User program.

“As the world’s largest specialized staffing service, we are committed to providing temporary and full-time professionals who are trained in the latest technologies,” said James M. Taylor, vice president, marketing, for Office Team® , the specialized administrative support division of Robert Half International Inc., a leading temporary employment agency.
“The Certified Microsoft Office User program will serve as an effective measurement of proficiency when placing our professionals in a corporate environment.”

Education Market Also Embraces User Certification Program

The education market benefits from this new program by offering students a means of demonstrating the proficiency in the Microsoft Office products they have attained through classroom or vocational training.

“The Certified Microsoft Office User program will add tremendous value for students and businesses,”
said Jacquelyn Crowe, instructor of computer user certification and computer support at Spokane Community College, Spokane, Wash.
“Using the standards as a guide, I plan to have students ready for the certification exams by December 1996.”

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, Windows and PowerPoint are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Office Team is a registered trademark of Robert Half International Inc.

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