Microsoft Reveals Office Winter Games Contest

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One female blogger and one student blogger will be sent to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games as winners of an online contest announced today by Microsoft Corp. and the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC). The winning bloggers will use the latest Microsoft technologies to report daily from the Games alongside members of the credentialed press corps. Starting today, qualified bloggers may enter the contest at http://www.officewintergames.com/.

The Microsoft Office team will award the winners a seven-day trip to Vancouver, British Columbia, and the technology and press access needed to report from the Games. The top-of-the-line technology includes Microsoft Office 2010 Professional and the Acer Aspire 4810 laptop that, thanks to its high performance and more than eight hours of battery life, is the winners’ ideal hardware companion.

"Microsoft Office will give bloggers the reporting, editing and communication tools they’ll require across the PC, mobile phone and browser," said Janice V. Kapner, senior director of Information Worker Group Communications at Microsoft. "Because blogs and online reporting are an increasingly popular way for sports fans to consume news about their favorite events, Microsoft will equip the two talented bloggers with Microsoft Office 2010 Professional to help them report with ease right from the sidelines."

Ten contest semifinalists will be chosen by a panel of celebrity judges, including five-time Olympic gold medalist Bonnie Blair and online video stars Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfeld from CollegeHumor.com. The public will then vote for their favorite semifinalists online, and the winners will be selected based on the number of votes they receive.

"As an Olympic gold medalist, I know the passion and excitement of being behind the scenes at the Winter Games," Blair said. "We’re excited to give these two bloggers the chance to experience the thrill of this time-honored event as well."

Microsoft Office is the premier productivity solution across PCs, mobile phones and browsers. From broadcast and video editing in Microsoft Office PowerPoint to co-authoring and the ability to post directly to blogs in Microsoft Office Word, Microsoft is delivering technology to help people work smarter and faster from virtually any location using almost any device. Microsoft Office 2010 will deliver innovative capabilities and provide new levels of flexibility and choice that will help people do the following:

  --  Work anywhere with Office Web applications -- the online companions to
      Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote -- that help provide access to
      documents from virtually anywhere and that help preserve the look and
      feel of a document regardless of device
  --  Collaborate better with co-authoring in Microsoft Word 2010, Microsoft
      PowerPoint 2010 and Microsoft OneNote 2010, as well as advanced e-mail
      management and calendaring capabilities in Microsoft Outlook 2010,
      including the option to "ignore" unwanted e-mail threads

  --  Bring ideas to life with video and picture editing, broadcast
      capability in Microsoft PowerPoint 2010, easy document preparation
      through the new Microsoft Office Backstage view, and new Sparklines in
      Microsoft Excel 2010 to visualize data and spot trends faster


  Contest Eligibility and Rules

Contestants must be at least 18 years of age and have written a blog for at least three months at time of entry. Contestants must be United States residents and either a female blogger or a currently enrolled full-time undergraduate or graduate student in good standing at a U.S. college or university. Winners will be announced at the International CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas Jan. 7-10. Complete contest details can be found at http://www.officewintergames.com/. Microsoft Office 2010 will be available in the first half of 2010; for more information visit http://www.microsoft.com/office.

About USOC

The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the sole entity in the United States whose mission involves training, entering and underwriting the full expenses for the U.S. teams in the Olympic, Paralympic, Pan American and Parapan American Games. In addition to being the steward of the U.S. Olympic Movement, the USOC is the moving force for support of sports in the United States that are on the program of the Olympic, Paralympic, Pan American and Parapan American Games. Learn more about the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams and the USOC at www.teamusa.org.

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