Microsoft to Expand Silicon Valley Presence Near Google

January 22, 2016 - Written By Tom Dawson

For US citizens there’s always been the East/West divide, the constant bickering over New York vs LA and the culmination of every NBA final comes down to East vs West. Where technology companies are concerned, the majority of business goes down in California, in the infamous Silicon Valley. Microsoft is of course one company that has bucked this trend ever since Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded the company back in 1975, establishing Microsoft as an East Coast company once and for all. Since then, the Redmond campus in Washington has grown to house as many as 40,000 employees, but the company does have a presence in the West, specifically in California, and they want to expand, getting ever-closer to their big rivals, Google.

As the Mercury News is reporting, Microsoft is looking to expand their office buildings in Mountain View (where Google’s infamous headquarters are found) to house as many as 3,000 employees, an increase over the 2,000 order there now. This would see the amount of land Microsoft has at their disposal in Mountain View grow from 515,000 square feet to over 644,009 square feet, should their plans be approved, of course. It’s said that these buildings are where staff from consumer-facing products like Xbox, Skype and Yammer work as well as and Office for Mac. It’s unclear as to why Microsoft feel the need to expand, especially after the company recently laid off thousands of staff not too long ago, but it could be that the company is looking to hire some talent more usually found on the West Coast.

The Google vs Microsoft argument will continue for some time now, but since the appointment of new CEO Satya Nadella the Redmond firm has learnt to play nice with others on a whole new scale. Garage Projects like the recently-launched alarm clock embrace and enhance Android for users, Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint are now first-class citizens on Android and Skype is used all over the world on all manner of different platforms. Whether or not this new expansion in Mountain View sees a closer-relationship between Google and Microsoft is unclear, but we doubt they’re ready to become much closer.