Microsoft Visitor Center Redmond, Washington – Vision of the Future

Microsoft-BallIn May of 2016 we spent a few days in Seattle on our way home from Vancouver, Canada. While there we had to make a point of visiting the Microsoft campus and Visitors Center. As a person in the IT field, this was very high on my list and was one of the first things we did between visiting the Boeing plant and the Museum of Flight which were on the top of Gene’s to-do list.

Microsoft 1First off, I have to say the campus opened on February 26, 1986, and seems quite large. It is so huge in fact that they have shuttles that take the employees and students from building to building.  I also had to note, that I had wished I had paid attention to their site when it said Building 92. That was my bad, but they also said the building and parking areas were clearly marked with signage, well they weren’t. It took us a long time to find which building it was. After that, it was a piece of cake. Just remember Building 92 if you are visiting and you will be fine. Wish I had. It would have saved us time following buses around hoping they would help us, lol

Microsoft PhonesEventually we made it inside and had to check into the Visitor Center by showing our IDs. Once we were deemed eligible to enter (aka, being treated like a criminal) we were given a visitors badge and told to wear it while we were in the center. It was a great fashion statement that made me feel like I was visiting someone in the hospital 🙁 Oh well, at least it didn’t smell like one, lol).

Microsoft 2Once we were inside, it was incredible. I was amazed and disappointed at the same time. The room was very small and we were actually able to see most of it while we were checking in. I just thought there was more around the corner, etc.  While that wasn’t what I was expecting, what they did have was so cool. They have quite a few hands-on exhibits featuring some of the company’s most exciting technologies for home and business.

Microsoft XboxWe were able to play with a Skype kiosk and I called my mom to say hi from Microsoft. That was fun. They also had a huge wall with a bunch of x-box games that was quite popular with the young kids.  We use Lenovo products at work and I was able to see the next version of laptops that will be hitting the market soon. That was also fun to play with.

MVI_4920

Another thing I enjoyed was a huge ball display hanging from the ceiling as you enter the room. It is a video screen actually and welcomes you to Microsoft. I stopped for a few and took a video. It was really interesting but sadly the video didn’t come out that great 🙁 I still attached it above if you want to check it out.

Microsoft-TeamWhat I was a little disappointed about what the lack of history on Microsoft and their products. I was expecting at least some sort of timeline of new products and major launches. The only thing they really had were pictures of the original people involved back when Microsoft started like Bill Gates and Paul Allen. There is also a more recent one of the same group. That was interesting, but I was really looking for more. Sadly, I felt like I was in a Best Buy store and not Microsoft. Still, you can’t beat the price of FREE 🙂 All in all, I am very glad we visited but wasn’t exactly what I was thinking it would be. Here is a link to their website with more information and history about the Microsoft company as the Visitor Center.

Microsoft Visitor Center Information

Address:

15010 NE 36th Street
Microsoft Campus Building 92
Redmond, WA 98052

Phone:

425-703-6214

Hours:

Mon 10am – 7 pm
Tues-Wed 9 am-7 pm
Thurs 9 am-3 pm
Fri 9am-7pm

Price:

Free

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