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Summary:

With the pretty and art-intensive Microsoft Garage web post, the company is telling the stories of its in-house geeks and hackers, away from their desks.

microsoft garage

I’m not one to fawn over corporate marketing web sites, but I have to admit this Microsoft Garage page is pretty nice.

The goal seems to be to show that Microsoft, like Google, like Facebook, is chock full of geeks doing cool things — with the requisite nods to the maker movement, BYO electronics, the “kegerator” — and the site itself is clearly in the vein of story telling. The scrolling presentation is sort of reminiscent of the New York Times SnowFall feature, although without the dramatic video.

The Garage facility itself is not new. Microsoft announced it as a refuge for hackers and creative tinkerers back in 2010. Since that time, it’s moved to Building 27 and has a glitzy site  –which is either new or months old depending on who you ask at Microsoft – that says in part:

Hackers, makers, artists, tinkerers, musicians, inventors – on any given day at The Garage, numerous species of geek are present and accounted for, whether it’s a science fair, soldering lesson, create-your-own electronica workshop or the ever-popular “Stay Late and Code” (also somewhat ironically referred to as SLAC.)

Update: While the Garage page itself is new, its the latest in a series of posts to the Microsoft Stories site which is a few month old, according to Steve Clayton, Microsoft’s “resident storyteller” who also worked on the web site used to announce Satya Nadella’s appointment as CEO. He’s also the guy who interviewed Nadella on the site’s video.

Anyway, check it out. One of Nadella’s missions going forward is to attract and retain creative thinkers at Microsoft, the people that might otherwise opt for Google or Facebook or a Silicon Valley startup with lots of options on the table. It looks like Garage is one of the tools at his disposal. But, it will take more than a cool website to recruit the best and brightest.

Note: this story was updated at 11:30 a.m. PST to clarify that the Garage page is part of the overall Microsoft stories site.