Microsoft to invest $700M into data center to power Xbox Live, Office 365

By on June 24, 2013, 1:30 PM
microsoft, office, xbox live, office 365, data center, cloud computing, xbox one

Microsoft is planning to invest nearly $700 million to expand a data center in Iowa that would be used to help power products like Xbox Live and Office 365. The expansion supports Microsoft’s growing demand for cloud services and serves as an example of their latest in efficient data center thinking, according to Microsoft’s Christian Belady.

Iowa may seem like an unlikely place to construct a data center but according to the state’s economic development director Debi Durham, there may be more data center projects coming later this year. That’s because energy in the region is reliable and cheap and the local government offers attractive incentives to big companies.

They’ve created a business culture that fosters development, Durham said, and Microsoft is taking full advantage of those incentives. Microsoft was awarded $20 million in tax credits for building in the region and just last week, they were granted a five year tax rebate that could net roughly $6 million in savings for the project.

The investment is the largest in the city’s history, we’re told, as it outpaces Wells Fargo’s $250 million headquarters and their $100 expansion as well as the $200 million Jordan Creek mall and AvivaUSA’s $135 million headquarters.

The tech giant initially began their investment in Des Moines back in 2009. At present, Microsoft owns roughly 40 acres of land and employs about 50 people. Plans to expand further haven’t been announced but they aren’t out of the realm of possibility, either.




User Comments: 8

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1 person liked this | JC713 JC713 said:

Wow they are betting a lot on the cloud.

Lurker101 said:

If their marketing team keeping doing the bang up job it has been lately with the next gen products, that will be a well wasted $699,999,992

1 person liked this | MilwaukeeMike said:

Yikes, so that's why they didn't want to back down from the XB1 'always connected' policy. They just bought a whole warehouse full of servers. I hope they're still within the buyer's remorse period.

m4a4 m4a4 said:

Better XBL in the near future? Sure, why not...

gamoniac said:

Yikes, so that's why they didn't want to back down from the XB1 'always connected' policy. They just bought a whole warehouse full of servers. I hope they're still within the buyer's remorse period.

Nah. DRM checking would not require 300,000 servers to run. Let's hope these servers will bring something exciting and useful.

RH00D RH00D said:

Yikes, so that's why they didn't want to back down from the XB1 'always connected' policy. They just bought a whole warehouse full of servers. I hope they're still within the buyer's remorse period.

Even if they didn't use them for Xbox Live services they could easily just re-purpose the whole datacenter for something else like Windows Azure or SkyDrive or Skype or Bing Search/Maps or projects that require mass computational power or anything else they do that can be powered by a server.

supertech supertech said:

This is just the beginning of the cloud. Eventually your data will sit up there and you won't be stuck to any one device. No tech company can afford to sit still as they will get knocked off by someone doing it bigger and better.

gamoniac said:

Here is the best article about what Microsoft "cloud servers" can do to improve Xbox Live multiplayer experience, as explained by game developer Respawn's engineer, Jon Shiring -- [link]

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