Apple's Spaceship better look out, Microsoft is modernizing its headquarters too

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Microsoft has announced plans to radically overhaul its existing campus in Redmond, Washington, and replace it with a bigger and more modern headquarters.

Microsoft will embark on a significant modernization of its global headquarters, with a goal of 18 new buildings by the end of 2024.

Well, that's all about to end.

Artist's rendering of Microsoft's new headquarters.

The focus appears to be on friendly above-ground work and play space. Auto parks that sat adjacent buildings will be moved underground to provide more space for buildings and recreational ground. Apple Inc. opened its sprawling new main campus in Cupertino, California, earlier this year, while now looking for a city to host a second headquarters projected to cost more than $5 billion.

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Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), meanwhile, has built over the last decade a dense, a high-rise urban campus that has completely transformed Seattle's South Lake Union neighborhood, and more recently, the northern edge of downtown.

The five-to seven-year plan will knock down 12 low-rise buildings at the heart of the company's original headquarters and replace them with 18 new buildings, many of them double the height, President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith said in an interview. Microsoft said this will foster creativity and innovation.

With the announcement, Microsoft is seeking to match the workplace upgrades many of its biggest rivals are pursuing.

The expansion will also see the addition of a 2-acre open plaza that can fit up to 12,000 people, walking trails, soccer and cricket facilities, and retail space. It will all connect seamlessly with the Redmond Technology Transit Station, which will ferry passengers by light rail to downtown Bellevue and Seattle.

As our employees create the tools and services of the future workspace for our customers, it's important they have a campus that reflects that future for themselves. And we will continue to be Energy Smart, using Azure for building system monitoring to optimize our energy usage and reduce our carbon footprint.