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August 05, 2007

Touring Microsoft

Some friends were visiting us from out of town and the husband asked if I would give him a tour of Microsoft. He's not a geek by any stretch of the imagination, but he still wanted to see Microsoft. I'm always somewhat amused/puzzled/charmed by such requests, but off we went to check out the campus (this was yesterday evening).

Of course Microsoft's campus is now huge, so we mostly just drove around and marveled at the number of buildings. For example we were driving past the soccer fields and I pointed out that everything you could see (40/41, 19, 16/17/18, 25, 33, 8) was all Microsoft. And even that construction crane in the distance was Microsoft.

Then we got out and I showed him the original buildings 1-4, including my old office in 2. Also Lake Bill, former home of the rooster, and the cafeteria in Building 4 (site of another former office before they redid it to make it much bigger). Then we walked over to 5 so I could show him the patterns&practices Workplace Advantage remodel. Building 2 was redone at some point and the wood is much darker but Building 5 (the old parts) has the authentic late-1980s look. Then we took a quick glance at Building 37 (nee Building 7). After that we drove to Building 21 (with a quick wave towards 34 on the way) to check out the remodel of our space, which is now complete enough that it's no longer a hard-hat area and you can wander around if you want. They have the raised floor in and the channels for the glass walls, so you can get a good feel for the space. They are now scheduled to be done on September 28. Finally I showed the wreckage of Building 100, soon to house the second-largest underground parking garage in the Western hemisphere, and the house perched on top of the parking garage by RedWest, and the tour was done.

We experienced a somewhat strange coincidence. As we were driving up to Building 2 (approaching the underground parking ramp, if you know where that is), I was describing how at that very spot, about 15 years ago, somebody had backed up the ramp into my car and crumpled the hood. Well wouldn't you know it, as those words left my lips, somebody backed out of a parking spot and crunched the side of our minivan (fairly minor since he was moving about 5 miles an hour). So in my life I've had exactly two accidents that require body work and they both happen in the exact same spot on Microsoft campus (and in a place I probably hadn't been back to in 10 years)?

Another tidbit is that besides the intern who was driving that car, in half an hour of wandering through buildings I saw exactly one other person in their office at 8 pm on a Saturday.

Posted by AdamBa at August 5, 2007 05:48 PM

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