Windows Phone Central visits Microsoft headquarters

Giant Phones

We're in Washington this week for Casual Connect Seattle, one of the country's largest game developer-centric conferences. As you might know, Redmond is only a stone's throw away from Seattle. As such, we threw our own stones over to Microsoft headquarters (also known as the Microsoft campus) for a little visit. The campus consists of over 40 buildings spread across 300 acres - a lot to take in! In the interest of time, we focused on Studio C (home of the Windows Phone game marketing team) and the Visitor Center. Lots of pictures follow the break!

Angry Birds in the window

The teams like to decorate their windows.

Studio C

External view of Studio C, where the Windows Phone magic happens. Yep, it's pretty big.

Paul Acevedo and Beth Goza

Your friendly neighborhood gaming journalist and Beth Goza, Senior Community Manager at Microsoft pose in front of this life-size Halo Reach statue.

Star Trekkers

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of Star Trek: The Next Generation, these Microsoft employees donned outfits from the original series. I should show you mine sometime (it's not a dress though).

Microsoft founders

Upon entering the history wing of the Visitor Center, you're greeted by the cast of Anchorman... I mean, the Microsoft founders!

Wall of technology

This wall depicts the evolution of technology, while the text below compares those changes to Microsoft products. Note the Atari 2600 console at right.

Windows 8 PCs

These computers allow visitors to try out Windows 8 before its official release. In the background, avatars are projected on the wall.

Windows Phone display

Just about every Windows Phone handset is on display for the masses. Not pictured, the screen of a first-gen Samsung Focus suffered from extreme burn-in. Maybe that's why the released version's screen times out after five minutes.

Surface table

Xbox Live Achievement aficionado TNTJudbud test drives the original Surface table computer.

Xbox 360 wall

The Xbox 360 area hosts a number of popular games like Forza Motorsport 4 and several LEGO titles.

Kinect projection screen

Kinect Star Wars looks great projected onto this wall. Too bad the display doesn't photograph well, but you get the idea.

Emergency phone

Outside, these Emergency call terminals are everywhere. Don't push it, dude!

Xbox crates

Do these crates contain Xbox 360s, or something more sinister?



There are 36 comments. Sign in to comment

kaynachtsman says:

Decorate their Windows Lol :)

ikissfutebol says:

It looks to me like they are with sticky notes/post its. If so, that is actually quite impressive.

ejb222 says:

Seems kinda empty

Paul Acevedo says:

There were lots of people around - we just tried to get unobscured pictures as much as possible.

ejb222 says:

Gotcha. What's the atmosphere like there? Would you work there? Are the people cool? I'm sure every office has their micro manager(Dan R ;)  but does it seem like they enjoy working there?

aubreyq says:

I see what you did there ;)

Paul Acevedo says:

Most of the people we met were really happy and friendly. It feels like a bunch of mini companies tied together as opposed to one large company though, if that makes sense. (Can't really go into much more detail...)

foysal says:

Yep,  mini companies, it's why the tablet never took off from the start, and why it took 4 years to get office mobile on a handheld. The company's own internal red tape was holding it back, though the 'mini companies' seem to be coming together over the past few months, and we're getting great products because of it! They'll get there eventually.

metrop021 says:

We like to think of it as clean.

kingkoopa09 says:

My first Gen focus had the burn in after a few weeks, so anytime a light screen pops up it's says people across the top

rpm5101 says:

Haha mine has the full keyboard, bottom dash buttons, the text box, and my girlfriend's name burned into the screen. I guess I text her too much. :P

skoll1988 says:

Next time your there if you see a full qwerty wp8 slider (nokia e7/htc7pro) STEAL IT AND SEND IT TO ME!!!!!!!

ejb222 says:

I bet those huge crates are Halo Spartan outfits as the next XBOX 360 input device....or not.

schlubadub says:

Nah, x-Robots. Personal robots powered by W8 ;)

blackprince says:

I am  XBox NeXt how may I serve you?
That what I would to hear opening that crate

Tomasz S. says:

Those crates look like toilets.

Agreed, I thought they were public bathrooms until I saw the words "Xbox" written on it :)

NIST says:

Did you get to hold the Juggernaut Alpha?

CJ Thunder says:

Not a Surface table computer anymore ;). Cool though, what are you not telling us though?

Paul Acevedo says:

Oh you know, just the roadmap for Windows Phone over the next 10 years, the release date of the first WP Halo game, phone numbers to prank call at Apple HQ... Ha ha, just kidding. :)

danWP7allday says:

Those wall-hung mock-ups of Windows Phones in the first pic. Why can't they get the back button and Search button right? Sheeesh! Annoying.

Gotta find something to complain about right? Sheesh!

danWP7allday says:

It's called attention to detail. If they can't even engage with their own brand why should anyone else?

Those are just concepts and have been existing since 2010. In fact that's how I thought those buttons were going to look. Its not an issue like you're making it.

foysal says:

The original developer emulator designs were the same as those on the wall, with a little bit of grey thrown in. If I remember rightly, they actually had the first prototypes made using those soft key designs too.

Cool pictures. I once toured the campus for an interview about 12 years ago and had a great time... but that was still back in the hay days, so to speak. Even the silverware in the cafeteria had the Microsoft logo on them... not sure if they still do or not. Anyway, it would definitely have been a fun place to work, I think.

LAXNover says:

Windows Phone is way more then just studio C. It spans multiple buildings all in that area.

diplomat696 says:

so do the employees go to these little propoganda stations from time to time and just drink in the pure awesomeness that is microsoft? (dig dig)
also are those xbox crates getting ready to be opened and reveal a world take over plot by microsoft using only xbox and wp?
looks like a fun place, I wish I was a bigger geek than I already am and had gotten into computer programming instead of what I actually do :) (not that you have to be a geek to be a programmer but im sure it helps :p)
and with that I guess I should really get some work done

MastrMeatWad says:

nice to see the articles from your trip up here in WA! :D

Lucas says:

oh you guys had a great trip!
FYI those are broken Xbox consoles or repaired ones in the last photo, since every crate has a label with a fatal error code on it.(E74, E46, E11 etc.)

Those Xbox crates appear to be filled with broken Xboxes. The red parts on the corners appear to have error codes on them that appear on your tv screen when something is wrong with your xbox.

Paul Acevedo says:

Very observant, guys!

steveymacjr says:

"we threw our own stones over to Microsoft" 
when i read that i half chuckled and said "Ouch" hehe....