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Microsoft to invest $700m in Iowa data centre

Demands of Xbox Live instrumental in huge additional investment in cloud computing

Microsoft will invest nearly $700 million in a new data centre in Des Moines, Iowa.

Microsoft already has a significant data presence in the region, but this $700 million expansion will take the company's total investment to almost $1 billion.

In a statement released to the Des Moines Register, Christian Belady, the general manager of Microsoft's data centre services, said that the expansion, "supports the growing demand for Microsoft's cloud services."

The data centre will support a number of Microsoft's cloud services, but Xbox Live will be chief among them. Since Microsoft's change in strategy regarding DRM and used-game sales, the size of its investment in the cloud is one of the key remaining differences between the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4.

Sony's most forceful play in cloud computing remains its acquisition of Gaikai, but Microsoft, which has promised 300,000 Xbox Live servers for the launch of Xbox One, seems to be working at an entirely different scale.

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Latest comments (5)

Xbox One’s cloud functionality will make it the premier place to play games in the next-generation, according to Microsoft’s director of marketing Craig Flannagan.
If you can't control the used games... control the Cloud!
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 3 years ago
@Kevin: Now I'm imagining Microsoft moving it's HQ to a big blimp and flying around like Vincent Price in the 60's sci-fi flick Master of the World...
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@Greg - Ha!
No, I see them more as Dr. Evil in a weird Paperclip shaped volcanic fortress!
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James Prendergast Research Chemist 3 years ago
LOL, you two!

I'm more interested in what their cloud server presence is outside of the US. It's all well and good having all that infrastructure in place in one country but what are the pings and latency going to be like in Europe and other territories?
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@James -
Sadly this is not about the quality of delivery and more about the retention of the data interchange. A factor in the abysmal Xbone presentation and belated reversal. The smart investors have placed their faith in retention of data and interchange - meaning the lines of communication. We are at a point where the XBox Live universe could be more important to the corporations positioning than the games played!

Check out the news about the Windows8 restructuring and proposed future delivery.
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