Microsoft to Invest Nearly $680 Million in Iowa Data Center to Support Xbox Live

Microsoft is taking the retail release of its upcoming Xbox One console seriously. So seriously, in fact, that it's committed to investing $677.7 million in a data center in Iowa, according to the Des Moines Register. Dubbed "Project Mountain," the investment will help beef up Microsoft's cloud infrastructure to support products like Xbox Live and Office 365.

"We are proud to watch tech leaders like Microsoft choose to make significant investments in Iowa,”" said Governor Terry Branstad. "Microsoft’s continued expansion at its West Des Moines location is a vote of confidence that our state is providing the kind of business-friendly environment that can help global companies succeed."

Microsoft Sign
Image Source: Flickr (Robert Scoble)

This isn't new territory for Microsoft. The Redmond outfit began investing in West Des Moines in 2009 and now owns 40 acres in the western suburb, employing around 50 people. Project Mountain will create an additional 29 jobs, 24 of which will be paid $23.12 per hour, plus more than 200 jobs during construction.

Both Facebook and Google have also turned to Iowa for data centers. The location is attractive because of its access to relatively cheap and reliable energy, along with aggressive tax incentives for data center development. In this case, Microsoft will receive $20 million in tax credits.