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Microsoft may have Apple HQ jealousy as it commits to Redmond refresh

MICROSOFT LIKES big campuses and it cannot lie, which is why its re-building its Seattle headquarters to fit in an extra 8,000 workers.

Redmond’s current campus already holds some 47,000 staff across 125 buildings, but the campus refresh will see the number of buildings increase to 131, the equivalent size of 180 American football fields.

Microsoft hasn’t said how much such renovation work will set it back, but it’s unlikely going to be cheap as there’s almost certainly going to be some high-end luxury modern design, possibly to stick two fingers up as Apple’s ‘Spaceship’ campus in California, particularity when Microsoft says the campus will focus on “inclusive design and accessible technology” to “empower” employees.

In fact, the Redmond company is taking a fairly ‘new age’ approach to its campus, touting it almost as somewhere workers will not want to leave.

“Our new campus will be more open and less formal, divided into a series of ‘team neighbourhoods’ while capturing more natural light and fostering the type of creativity that will lead to ongoing innovation to advance the industry and benefit our customers,” said Brad Smith, Microsoft president and chief legal officer.

“And while we transform our workspace inside, we will renovate the exterior to create more opportunities to exercise, play and connect with nature for the people who work at Microsoft and those who live nearby. Our plans include a 2-acre open plaza that will fit up to 12,000 people, running and walking trails, facilities for soccer and cricket, and retail space.”

There’s definitely a whiff of Satya Nadella’s ‘one Microsoft mission to rule them all and in the cloud we build them‘ people and tech-centric “empowerment” strategy with the ambitions for the HQ refresh, as opposed to the seemingly more disjointed approach of former CEO Steve Ballmer.

With Apple rocking a fancy new HQ and Microsoft prepping for one, it’s up to Google to sex-up its Mountain View campus, though it’s already pretty plush. µ

Source : Inquirer

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