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Greek Teen to Compete in International Microsoft Office Specialist Championship

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Greeks Christos Letsios, Andreas Nalmpantis, and Nikolas Rapanis will go to the United States to compete in the Microsoft Office Specialist Championship. Credit: Christos Letsios/Facebook

Greek computer whizz Christos Letsios, 16, is headed to the Microsoft Office Specialist Championship after proving his skills in the program PowerPoint.

Letsios, who hails from the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki, took home the gold medal in the Greek national Microsoft Office Specialist Championship, which has been organized by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki for the past twenty years.

With that win under his belt, Letsios is qualified to compete in the event in California at the international level along with two other talented Greeks who qualified for the Microsoft Office Specialist Championship.

Letsios will make his way to the United States along with seventeen-year-old Nikolas Rapanis, from Heraklion, Crete, who finished first in the Excel category, and Andreas Nalmpantis, who is a junior in college, who took the gold medal in the Word category.

Greeks at the Microsoft Office Specialist Championship

Ever since his younger years, Letsios has been drawn to technology, an interest that his parents nurtured and supported.

“My parents aren’t interested in computers, but they were supportive of anything I loved. When they saw my natural talent with computers, they supported me from the beginning, and I had my own computer from a young age, which is when I started to experiment with technology,” Letsios stated. He then started to take lessons in computing and Microsoft Office.

The Greek teen wanted to receive certifications in Microsoft Word, which requires passing certain examinations. According to his teacher Dimitris Vergos, Letsios passed the Word test with a score of 967 out of a possible 1,000 only a few months after beginning to learn, which is an exceptional score.

After winning a silver medal in the Word competition last year, Letsios decided to compete in the PowerPoint category this year with the encouragement of his teacher and was able to stand out amongst the over 1,000 students who hoped to take home the top prize.

Microsoft centers in Greece

In April of this year, Greece’s state agency Enterprise Greece gave approval for the fast-tracking of a 100 million euros ($110 million) Microsoft investment project for three data centers in the country.

The data centers will be located at Spata and Koropi in the Attica region and provide technical business support and cloud computing services to Greece. These are also expected to create 300 new jobs over the next ten years.

Data centers are used to store, process, and share large amounts of data to users while cloud computing refers to the provision of computing resources via the Internet (e.g. servers, apps) through the use of central systems located far out of reach of the final user. Automated processes enable systems to reach users in order to provide a variety of services and connection flexibility.

Microsoft has been operating in Greece since 1992 and maintains about 200 data centers in 34 countries interconnected with more than 165,000 miles of submarine, land, and metropolitan areas of fiber optics. Microsoft Cloud already serves at least one billion customers and 20 million companies worldwide.

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