Microsoft opens up new Garage offices

Microsoft has recently opened up a new 60,000 square foot facility in Redmond, Washington that it is calling the Garage. News.com got the chance to receive the first public tour of the new offices which are designed to help spur innovation at the company by letting its employees create side projects that they don't have time to do during normal business hours.

According to the article, the Garage program actually started over two years ago but Microsoft finally gave the program its own building which opened last week. The Garage offices are actually in Building 4, one of the oldest buildings on the Microsoft Redmond campus. In fact the bathrooms had things like "IBM sucks" before Microsoft renovated the space. Now the building has been changed to allow more open space. The article states, "Sprinkled around the building are new 'pods,' temporary work spaces where teams of two, three, or five employees can set up shop to collaborate on projects for weeks at a time."

In addition to the new building, Microsoft also holds what it calls "science fairs" that allow its employees to show off their creations to other. One of the most recent projects is the Lync Conversation Translator. The program lets two people who speak two different languages use a chat program to "speak" to each other. One English speaking person types in a statement directed to a German-speaking recipient and it shows up on the German speaking person's screen in his or her own language, and vice versa.

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12 Comments

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article said,
In fact the bathrooms had things like "IBM sucks" before Microsoft renovated the space.

Talk about unhealthy competition...

RealFduch said,

Talk about free speech...

Free speech only means the government cannot censor the citizens or the press. Just had to get that out there as this is the 2nd time I have had to educate someone on "Free Speech" today.

sviola said,

Talk about unhealthy competition...

This is healthy competition. This isn't an unfair practice.

Skwerl said,
What a great program! I would definitely take advantage of this. Come on over to Austin, Microsoft!

It would be easier for you to move to Redmond (they actually have many job openings there).

Stewart Gilligan Griffin said,
ick, I wouldn't want to work in a place like that... too conceptual and modern for no real reason

Fine, I'll have your seat

Stewart Gilligan Griffin said,
ick, I wouldn't want to work in a place like that... too conceptual and modern for no real reason

It's weird, kinda meh... but still a hell of a lot better than what I have now.

Stewart Gilligan Griffin said,
... too conceptual and modern for no real reason

Inspiring creative thought and impromptu workgroups is really no reason at all.

Sure beats the drab brown cubicle life I lead today....

Stewart Gilligan Griffin said,
ick, I wouldn't want to work in a place like that... too conceptual and modern for no real reason

Funny, I'd love to work there specifically *because* it doesn't look like a typical office.

Stewart Gilligan Griffin said,
ick, I wouldn't want to work in a place like that... too conceptual and modern for no real reason

We had a couple of rooms like that at uni. They make a huge difference for small team collaborative projects.