Microsoft investing $678M into massive ‘Project Mountain’ data center in Iowa

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Microsoft’s quest to dominate the computer space will never cease. The company’s working to get a tight grip on the “online service” sector of the consumer tech marketplace. According to CNET, Microsoft is investing $678 million into the expansion of its West Des Moines, Iowa, office. This particular location is responsible for the production and creation of online services like Office 365 and Xbox Live. The Des Moines Register is reporting that Microsoft plans to use the upgrades to work on its cloud operations. Microsoft’s plan of attack, which its named “Project Mountain,” has already received tax benefits.

According to the Greater Des Moines Partnership, which is responsible for providing resources to businesses that are moving or expanding in the West Des Moines area, Microsoft’s office will house servers and networking equipment dedicated to bettering cloud services. This project is the result of years of planning between Microsoft, the state of Iowa, and the city of West Des Moines. Microsoft is expected to receive $20 million in tax incentives from the state.

It is no surprise that Microsoft’s attempting to beef up its cloud services, due to recent developments with its next-generation gaming console, the Xbox One. Microsoft revealed at E3 that the Xbox One would contain a variety of cloud services, many of which are tied to game saves, gamer tags, and the Xbox Live service in general. We could also see new developments in Microsoft’s tablet and mobile sector as a result of this substantial upgrade.

It’s also possible that this sudden interest in cloud computing is due to Microsoft rivals beefing up their own data centers. In 2009, Google opened a center in Council Bluffs, Iowa. In 2012, Google announced that it would be expanding the center, and brought the total cost of the endeavor up to $1.1 billion. Facebook also opened a number of data centers, including one in Altoona, Iowa. It will be interesting to see what types of cloud-based developments appear from Microsoft in the near future, and if the investment pays off for the company.

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