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Exploring Microsoft Headquarters: A Journey Inside the Tech Giant's Campus

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Have you ever considered what it might be like to work at Microsoft? Prepare for an exciting trip as we journey deep inside the heart of Microsoft's headquarters, a location unlike any other corporate workplace in the world. Microsoft is more than just a corporation; it's a large complex with its own subway system, retail centre, tree homes, and even a fabled lake for daring executives. So buckle your seatbelts, grab your lanyard, and let's go on this amazing voyage together!

The Sprawling Microsoft Campus

The Microsoft headquarters, located in Redmond, Washington, spans an amazing 500 acres. Over a hundred structures may be seen on this huge campus, which is often known as a university or college campus. Walking around campus, you'll see not just office buildings, but also sports fields, woodland walkways, and calm courtyards, which are perfect locations for employees to unwind after a hard day. It all began in February 1986, when Microsoft relocated to this facility, which was once a chicken farm, only a month before the company went public and began its meteoric rise in the IT sector. Initially, only six buildings were constructed with a capacity for 800 employees. Today, the Redmond campus houses around 50,000 talented individuals working on the cutting edge of technology.


A Glimpse into the Past: The Microsoft Visitor Center

If you ever find yourself paying a visit to Microsoft headquarters, one of the first stops you should make is at building 92, home to the Microsoft visitor center. Inside, you'll discover a captivating company museum that tells the rich history of this tech giant. Take the opportunity to play with the latest Microsoft software, such as the popular Forza racing series or the world-building phenomenon, Minecraft. You can also enhance your Linkedin profile, explore the freshest gadgets, and get a glimpse of what the future holds for workplace innovation. And don't forget to check out the Microsoft apparel store, where you'll find a whole section dedicated to Bing merchandise. It's a haven for tech enthusiasts and Microsoft fans alike!


Building Legends: Stories and Anecdotes

Microsoft's campus is filled with buildings that hold special significance. Let's explore a few of them and unravel the stories they hold.

Building 16: Commemorating Microsoft Product Launches

Make your way to building 16 and step into the courtyard, where you'll find walk-of-fame-style panels set in the flagstones. These panels pay homage to the great Microsoft product launches of the past. It's a reminder of the groundbreaking innovations that have shaped the tech landscape and transformed the way we live and work.

Building 8: Where Bill Gates Met Melinda

Building 8 is where a young and shy executive by the name of Bill Gates crossed paths with his future wife, Melinda. The story goes that both of them were burning the midnight oil, working late into the night. Bill found the bravery to introduce himself to the fascinating woman who was similarly preoccupied with her job. And the rest as they say, is history. This encounter of two outstanding people would eventually result in establishment of  Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which is devoted to creating positive changes in the world.

The Mysterious Building 7

Be cautious if someone invites you to meet them at building 7 because, well, it doesn't actually exist! Building 7 may be the stuff of internal folklore and vibrant prank culture at Microsoft, but its absence remains a mystery. Some speculate that it was prohibited by city permit restrictions, while others suggest it was simply overlooked during Microsoft's rapid expansion in the late 90s.

Building 87: Unveiling Secret Research

Building 87 is shrouded in mystery, housing some of Microsoft's most advanced and secretive research endeavors. The inner workings of this building are unknown to outsiders, but tantalizing references to an Orwellian-sounding "Department of Human Data" and a mesmerizing "Anechoic Chamber" that suppresses noise give rise to endless speculation about the cutting-edge projects and technological wonders being developed within its walls.

The Maker Garage: Fueling Innovation

In a nod to Microsoft's humble beginnings in the Gates family's Albuquerque carport, the campus features the Maker Garage. This workshop serves as a creative space where employees can bring their ideas to life. Equipped with laser cutters, 3D printers, soldering gear, and a vast array of tools, the Maker Garage allows Microsoft's talented workforce to experiment and explore new frontiers. Challenge nights are a regular occurrence here, where staff delve into the possibilities of the internet of things and the fascinating world of Biohacking.


Balancing Work and Play

At Microsoft, they believe that a balanced work environment leads to greater creativity and productivity. So, it's no surprise that the Redmond campus offers plenty of opportunities for employees to unwind and recharge.


Unwinding in Nature: Sports Fields and Trails

Amidst the hustle and bustle of daily work, Microsoft ensures that employees have ample opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. There are two soccer fields, a basketball court, softball nets, and even a green spot for Bocce ball on campus. There are various running routes snaking around the campus that provide a breath of fresh air and a chance to recuperate for those who prefer a leisurely stroll or a refreshing jog.


The Commons: A Mall for the Microsoft Community

Microsoft goes above and above to foster a feeling of community and to help small companies in the neighbourhood. The Commons, which opened on the Redmond Campus in 2009, is a two-story, 1.4 million square foot mall that caters to Microsoft workers' requirements. With a wide range of retail spaces and dining options, the Commons is the ultimate shared amenity. Whether you're craving a cup of Pike Place coffee or a slice of Flying Pie pizza, you'll find a place to satisfy your cravings. From guitar stores to bike repair workshops, a hair salon to an auto body shop, the Commons has it all. It's a vibrant hub where employees can connect, unwind, and explore a world beyond their desks.


Tree House Offices: Where Inspiration Takes Root

Embracing Washington state's natural beauty, Microsoft recently added a cluster of tree house offices and meeting rooms to the campus. These unique workspaces allow employees to escape the confines of traditional offices and immerse themselves in the serene canopy of trees. The tree house offices provide a refreshing change of scenery and an environment that fosters creativity and innovation. It's a place where ideas can soar as high as the treetops!


Lake Bill: Plunging into Tradition

Nestled among the original low-rise office buildings is a body of water affectionately known as Lake Bill, named after the one and only Bill Gates. According to company tradition, managers and even top-level executives, including Bill Gates himself and co-founder Steve Ballmer, take the plunge into the murky waters of Lake Bill whenever a new product launch exceeds their expectations or surpasses their initial skepticism. This ritual serves to foster a culture of collaboration, risk-taking, and a sense of family at Microsoft.


The High Five Corridor: Fostering Collaboration

Imagine a corridor where high fives are mandatory! Inside several of the office buildings, you'll stumble upon random pool tables and classic ping pong setups. These recreational areas serve as hubs for spontaneous moments of fun and friendly competition. They encourage employees to interact, forge new connections, and recharge their creative batteries. So, don't be surprised if you find yourself caught up in a lively game of ping pong or witness the celebratory sound of a well-executed high five reverberating through the halls!



Phew! That was quite a journey through the vibrant world of Microsoft headquarters. We've explored the sprawling campus, learned about the fascinating buildings and their stories, and experienced the perfect blend of work and play that Microsoft offers its employees. From the innovative Maker Garage to the invigorating tree house offices, it's clear that Microsoft values creativity, collaboration, and a sense of community. So, the next time you find yourself at Microsoft headquarters, make sure to immerse yourself in the unique atmosphere and join in the excitement of this dynamic tech giant!



Q1: What is the size of the Microsoft headquarters?

A1: The Microsoft headquarters covers an expansive area of over 500 acres in Redmond, Washington.


Q2: Can visitors explore the Microsoft Visitor Center?

A2: Absolutely! Visitors are welcome to explore the Microsoft Visitor Center, located in building 92. It offers a captivating company museum, interactive experiences with the latest Microsoft software, and a chance to check out the newest gadgets.


Q3: Is there any significance to the buildings' numbers instead of names?

A3: Yes, the buildings at Microsoft headquarters are traditionally numbered rather than named, reflecting the company's software-focused origins and embracing its nerdy culture.


Q4: What can you find in the Maker Garage?

A4: The Maker Garage is a workshop where employees can bring their innovative idea to life. It is equipped with state of the art tools including laser cutters, 3D printers and soldering gear allowing employees to experiment and create. It's a hub of innovation nd creativity!


Q5: How does Microsoft promote collaboration and teamwork?

A5: Microsoft fosters collaboration and teamwork through various initiatives, such as recreational areas with pool tables and ping pong setups, designated spaces like the High Five Corridor, and shared amenities like the Commons. These spaces and activities encourage employees to interact, form connections, and work together towards common goals.

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