August 7, 2009 in Business

Microsoft keeping data center

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Microsoft officials say they will continue using the company’s massive data center in Quincy, Wash., despite a recent decision not to expand its “cloud” computing services to that location.

Quincy is the location of one of the Redmond company’s largest data centers, completed in 2007.

Later this year Microsoft plans to launch a service called Azure, an always-on commercial service that gives other companies a “cloud” of data that they plug into and use for word processing, e-mail or data management.

The Quincy data center is a sprawling, tightly protected building with thousands of computer processors that store data and handle applications for customers, as well as for Microsoft’s own products, such as Hotmail or Bing, its renamed search service.

This week Microsoft said Washington state’s refusal to exempt tech companies from a sales tax on data center construction and equipment is the reason for its change in plans.

The state provides that exemption for most manufacturers. Microsoft and Yahoo, which also operates data centers in Grant County, must pay a 7.9 percent sales tax on equipment purchases.

A company spokeswoman said, in an e-mail: “Microsoft will continue to host many Microsoft online services out of our mega data center in Quincy, and our other locations. Microsoft continues to be committed to our business in the state of Washington and the Quincy data center.”

The Quincy Microsoft center has 50 workers. The spokeswoman added that if Microsoft had deployed Azure in the Quincy center, no additional Microsoft employees would have been needed.

A Microsoft blog said it’s likely the company will route most of the Azure-based services to a data center in San Antonio instead.


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