Print 20 comment(s) - last by mars2k.. on Aug 25 at 3:36 AM

Iowa announces Microsoft is headed there for cheap power and good tax incentives

Iowa Governor Chet Culver announced Microsoft will build a $500 million data center that will be located in West Des Moines.  

The new building will be used to host web servers that are needed for cloud computing and services such as Windows Live.  It'll take at least 12 months to build the new West Des Moines facility, and could take up to 18 months.  The effort comes as part of Microsoft's charge to increase its spending on the online domain.

"We are very proud to welcome Microsoft to Iowa," Gov. Culver said in a press statement.  "In making its decision, Microsoft recognized what we in Iowa have known all along:  our workforce and quality of life is top-notch."

Microsoft did not say why it chose Iowa as the state for its new facility, but low cost power and a strong telecommunications infrastructure are likely two immediate reasons.  West Des Moines may now invest up to $10 million in area improvements to help prepare for the new Microsoft data center.

Gov. Culver also reportedly helped draw in Microsoft by offering tax incentives for computer servers and electricity.  Iowa has put a renewed focus into renewable energy and information technology, with several other high-profile tech companies possibly interested in building facilities in the state.  The tax incentives will be able to help draw other companies to the state in the future.

The facility will have at least 75 technology jobs with an average salary of $70,000.  The Redmond-based company will start out with 50 positions.

Google also is headed to Iowa, after announcing it will build a $600 million data center in Council Bluffs.  Google's facility will eventually employ up to 200 people.

Some may find it a little ironic that Iowa was one of the few states to hear state-level antitrust litigation against Microsoft several years ago.  Microsoft eventually settled with the state's citizens last year for $180M USD, which went to consumers, and $75M USD, which went to the plaintiffs' lawyers.

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By Sulphademus on 8/22/2008 11:24:50 AM , Rating: 3
$70k in Iowa? Screw MD. I'm already checking housing costs out there!

RE: Housing
By JoshuaBuss on 8/22/2008 11:47:06 AM , Rating: 2
ha. nice

RE: Housing
By booneco877 on 8/22/2008 12:12:17 PM , Rating: 3
The housing out here is actually extremely affordable. The difficulty for most people moving from larger cities is our rural atmosphere. Des Moines is a major exception, but there are many towns (farming communities) in Iowa with less than 500 people. It is definately a different lifestyle.

RE: Housing
By apspeedbump on 8/22/2008 2:33:54 PM , Rating: 2
I've lived in West Des Moines for 2 years. More cosmopolitan than you'd expect, but still has a lot of small-townness to it. And I moved from Los Angeles, so the difference is pretty large.

It'll be interesting to see where these new employees come from (in state or out).

Housing is extremely affordable, moreso coming from the coasts.

Hopefully it starts a trend of companies moving to town.

RE: Housing
By apspeedbump on 8/22/2008 2:46:15 PM , Rating: 3
One thing to note; housing, utilities and gas are the main inexpensive things out here. Car insurance is insanely cheap out here too. Food and clothing costs near the same, if not more. Fruits and vegetables in CA were much cheaper than here.

Housing and transportation are most people's biggest expenses, so it's great. Just don't expect everything to be 1/2 of the cost elsewhere.

RE: Housing
By JoshuaBuss on 8/23/2008 6:52:15 PM , Rating: 2
yeah, I grew up in western (rural) illinois and now live an hour west of chicago (after living downtown for 7 years while in school).

small-town midwestern life rules.. I'd love for a huge datacenter to open up around where I live :)

1st Google, now MS
By RU482 on 8/22/2008 10:37:31 AM , Rating: 2
Good to see some technology in Iowa

RE: 1st Google, now MS
By TheSpaniard on 8/22/2008 10:55:23 AM , Rating: 2
I dont know how things work over in Western Iowa but there are a lot of bio-tech companies on the eastern portion, especially as you approach the University of Iowa

RE: 1st Google, now MS
By MisterAnderson42 on 8/22/2008 11:05:44 AM , Rating: 2
Not to mention Rockwell Collins which designs and builds advanced military radios, GPS navigation, avionics, and lots of other stuff.

RE: 1st Google, now MS
By SunAngel on 8/22/08, Rating: 0
RE: 1st Google, now MS
By jay401 on 8/22/2008 11:19:09 AM , Rating: 3
First would be GoDaddy, I believe.

Also, I hope they built it above flood stage levels. Des Moines was underwater not that long ago. ;P

RE: 1st Google, now MS
By Ammohunt on 8/22/2008 1:33:16 PM , Rating: 3
Lets see if they can convince some of the Iowans to get off welfare and start working.

Article revision
By therealnickdanger on 8/22/2008 11:15:01 AM , Rating: 1
It'll take at least 12 months to build the new West Des Moines facility, and could take up to 18 months.

18 months to do what? I can guess, but just FYI.

RE: Article revision
By JonnyBlaze on 8/22/2008 12:15:21 PM , Rating: 2
uhh to build it?

RE: Article revision
By giantpandaman2 on 8/22/2008 12:21:42 PM , Rating: 3
He was making a grammar comment.

Great Move
By BAFrayd on 8/22/2008 10:29:11 PM , Rating: 2
Now if only the rest of the MS operation would move to Iowa, the Seattle area would return to the great place it was before the nerd invasion.
I would think that more tech companies would locate to areas of the country where jobs are needed and the cost of living is affordable.

RE: Great Move
By DanDaManJC on 8/23/2008 2:52:15 PM , Rating: 2
Return to what though? Microsoft is a huge part of the Seattle economy. They've contributed to the local community too -- just look at the UW and count the number of buildings renamed for the gates and company.

By Oregonian2 on 8/22/2008 2:10:13 PM , Rating: 3
Isn't that the home town of Shawn Johnson? Microsoft just wanted to be near someone famous!

In an effort to not be outdone...
By Icelight on 8/22/2008 12:33:12 PM , Rating: 2
...Yahoo announces plans to build a 700 million dollar Data Centre.

Internet 2
By mars2k on 8/25/2008 3:36:52 AM , Rating: 2
MS is building a huge datacenter in San Antonio, Texas which a southern node on the new Internet infrastructure. This is the juncture of the southern east-west internet trunk and the north-south central US trunk. Where does Des Moines fit into the overal plan? Where is the northern east-west trunk going in?

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