Microsoft Expands, Moves Regional Office to Edina

The Edina office will house about 230 employees, including seven at a new technology center that will showcase Microsoft technology and develop solutions to address customers' technology needs.

Microsoft Corporation is expanding its Minnesota operations.

The company said Monday that it will open a technology center in Edina-and move its regional offices from Bloomington to Edina.

Microsoft will occupy 52,000 square feet in Tower III, a building located at 3601 76th Street within the Centennial Lakes Office Park.

The office will house somewhere around 230 employees-approximately 225 from the regional offices, which act as a hub for the company's seven-state North Central District, and seven at the new technology center.

The regional office staff in Bloomington will relocate to the Edina office over the next year. Meanwhile, the technology center is expected to open at the end of February and be fully operational the first week of March.

Tim Floyd is director of the new technology center-a position he assumed about a year ago, long before the center was expected to open.

According to Floyd, the center will showcase Microsoft technology and help customers develop solutions to address their technology needs. The center will primarily work with large-business customers-and it will be used for everything from idea generation to proof-of-concept workshops to hands-on demonstrations. A company's technical employees might spend several weeks working alongside Microsoft employees at the center to develop solutions.

“Minneapolis . . . is one of our larger markets in the Microsoft enterprise,” Floyd told Twin Cities Business on Tuesday when asked why the Twin Cities seemed like a good place to open a center. “We have a substantial number of customers in this town and this [regional] district.”

Floyd said that Microsoft wanted to be able to provide a greater level of service to those customers-a group that includes the area's “larger Fortune 100s”-and added that the hope is for the center to attract new business prospects as well.

“My goal is for the center to be very busy every day, bringing the most value possible to [Microsoft] customers and partners,” he said.

Microsoft's first technology center sprung up 10 years ago in Boston. There are now 13 technology centers worldwide-including nine in the United States.

The upcoming local expansion isn't Microsoft's first. In 2009, the company opened a 12,000-square-foot software development office in St. Paul, where 26 employees are housed. Then last month, Microsoft opened a retail store at the Mall of America.