Microsoft is expanding its “Garage” to multiple new locations. Along with China, the Garage is also making its way to India with the first space slated to open in Hyderabad, India. The other locations where Microsoft is planning to introduce the program include Cambridge, Massachusetts and China.
The Garage location in China will be opened in Beijing and will be the first in the string of new locations to go up. The company expects to get the unit in China up and running by the first quarter of 2017. The next location will be opened in Hyderabad, India, in the second half of 2017. The final location meanwhile, will go up in in Cambridge, Massachusetts, early next year.
In case you are unaware of it, the Garage is Microsoft’s own incubator of sorts for propagating and pushing ideas put forward by the company employees. It assists employees by providing them with spaces, resources, technology and sometimes its own brand influence, to help them work on their ideas and create things that could have an impact on the world. The employees also gain access to a whole bunch of beta testers in form of Microsoft users who are encouraged to try out the new products.
These products can or can not become part of Microsoft’s own roster depending upon several factors — the most important of which is the level of usefulness of the said product.
Here is how the company itself describes Garage,
The Garage is a resource to Microsoft employees that supports and encourages problem solving in new and innovative ways, ultimately empowering people to achieve more. The Garage is a worldwide community of thousands of passionate employees who challenge convention, explore new technologies, and move their ideas forward.
The garage has seen a host of applications churned out, some of which have proved to be useful, if not earth shaking.
Speaking on the expansion, Jeff Ramos, who heads the Garage, said
Our development of new Garage spaces has been defined by a pure and genuine desire to partner by both RE&F and us. RE&F listens to our vision, hears our business goals, and then thinks about how to best represent those outcomes through great architecture, design, and facilities.
RE&F here refers to Real Estate & Facilities, which along with Ramos, decides upon the next Garage location. A blog post also stated why these particular locations were chosen as the next Garage spaces, stating that these areas were chosen for having a high employee concentration along with high levels of diversity “that is ripe for innovative thinking.” They should also have
the desire to build strong connections to local tech and higher education communities.
As the place for Microsoft’s India headquarters, Hyderabad certainly fulfills these criterion. The city is also home to some of India’s premium tech institutions besides having professionals from all over the country.
Meanwhile, the new Garage spaces will be set up inside Microsoft Global Development Centers (GDCs). They may also include meeting spaces plus cutting edge tools for creating new technologies and building prototypes.
Meanwhile, Microsoft now has 7 garage locations operational or planned, across the world. These locations continue driving the spark of innovativeness in Microsoft employees, leading them to work on their own projects for changing the world.