View from the Stars

View from the Stars

Microsoft's Keith Milone shows off the Times Square technology center.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Going Hands On

Going Hands On

Microsoft invites visitors to give its latest devices, such as the Surface Pro 3, a try.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

A Gallery of Gadgets

A Gallery of Gadgets

Folks can tinker with the technology in a laid-back setting.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Eager to Fit In

Eager to Fit In

Microsoft clearly wants its smartphones, tablets, and other devices to be as ubiquitous as its software.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

A Reflection in Data

A Reflection in Data

The technology center is also a site for managing cloud-based software for businesses.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Biggest

Biggest "Tablet" On the Block

Multi-touch technology from Perceptive Pixel lets this big screen act like a mobile device.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Eager for the world to see its digs in Times Square, Microsoft recently invited me over for a visit to its New York technology center.

Equal parts showroom, demo ground, and cloud services hub, this is one of several locations the company maintains around the world to let enterprise clientele check out its technology.

Keith Milone, real estate portfolio manager with Microsoft, said the company relocated the tech center from the Avenue of the Americas. The company signed a lease in 2013 for more than 200,000 square feet on six floors at 11 Times Square.

Sales, technical, and service staff work out of the technology center, but Milone said about 60 percent of the space is devoted to interacting with customers. “So many of our people are mobile these days,” he said.

In addition to workspace, there are gadget bars covered with tablets and other devices, as well as rooms where Microsoft personnel demo technology for folks on site. They also hold remote training sessions. Deeper inside, there is a data center that hosts cloud-based software for customers.

Scattered around the office are 55-inch and 82-inch screens built with multi-touch technology from Perceptive Pixel, a New York startup that Microsoft acquired in 2012. “It’s basically a big tablet,” Milone said.

The next generation of these giant multi-touch screens, at 84 inches, is expected to be out in a few months, he said.

After customers get a bit of exposure to Microsoft’s software and devices, they can get hands-on in a room that includes an Xbox One connected to a video wall. Even though there is a big plush couch, it is not about goofing off. “We show it to them, not to just play games,” Milone said. “We show them the Live Tiles platform [for apps] is on every device.”

By posting a comment, you agree to our terms and conditions.

  • realposter

    So the R&D they staffed with former Yahoo personnel is in a different building?

    • Joao-Pierre S. Ruth

      Yup, Microsoft has multiple offices in New York.

      • realposter

        Ok – thanks. Would you happen to know which location the former Perceptive Pixel team is..? Were they absorbed completely? It said they had a new product coming out in the article – but didn’t give details.

        • Joao-Pierre S. Ruth

          Perceptive Pixel got relocated to Redmond, fully absorbed into Microsoft.

          • realposter

            Interesting! You rarely hear that nowadays when it comes to acquisitions. In any event – thanks for the info.