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Microsoft vs Google: Two approaches to the technology-driven office

At the first mention of a technology company, many will often jump to Microsoft or Google, given that they’re well established household names. For years, these two companies have been at the centre of many technological innovations on the internet, in computing and in a number of other areas.

Balance is key when trying to create a modern office.

While we often hear about how they’re technological utopias to work in and prime examples of the modern office done right, is this actually true?

In this article, we’ll take a look at these two companies in order to find out whether it’s the office decor or something else entirely that makes them great places to work.


Makers of Windows, Office, Bing and numerous other technologies, Microsoft has been at the centre of many devices and systems that millions of people now use on a daily basis. Based in Redmond, Washington (the state, not the city), the company has managed to build a technology hub.

It’s certainly one of the largest tech companies in the world, with a massive number of different divisions that cover every conceivable technology.

Each building at Microsoft features unique designs, whether it’s the workplace of the future building that demonstrates new technologies or the Commons building, where a giant elephant sculpture sits next to a window. Other rooms feature pinball machines and spaces for live music throughout the day.

So in this drive to have an office layout that’s friendly and engaging, is there actually any space to get work done? Thanks to unique office spaces, the answer is yes. According to Business Insider, on a tour of the Redmond campus in 2013, a standard office setup is quite rare. While certain departments use standard desks lined up, many opt for offices that look more like lounges.

In one space, large windows surround couches and other flexible work spaces to facilitate collaboration and working together as a team. In another, the workers took advantage of large computer displays to make their particular job easier, while others used smaller screens.

It’s clear that this Redmond campus is well suited to the needs of Microsoft, especially given the large number of projects that are often underway at any given point.

Google and Microsoft understand what makes a modern office great.Google and Microsoft understand what makes a modern office great.


Google would seem to be behind many of the major web developments of recent years, just like Microsoft, and the technologies created by this company are also used by millions every single day.

Also like Microsoft, Google has managed to build technology hubs across the globe. In this article, we’re going to take a look at the New York HQ of the massive organisation.

Insightful Travel & Tours was able to visit this office, and took a look at what made it different from other workplaces. The travel company noted that the main objective was to encourage creative and innovative thinking, and the workplace reflected this. Certain individual spaces could be changed by moving glass walls around in order to get teams working together.

Overloading technology usage could mean staff find it difficult to work productively.

Another area of the office had an IT bar where staff could bring their devices to get fixed by expert Google staffers. The company also provides scooters to allow people to move around the massive space faster.

Like the Microsoft Redmond campus, this office in New York reflects the culture of the company that runs it, and also makes use of new technologies and flexible ways of working to encourage productivity.

What can businesses take away from this?

It’s clear to see that a balance is key when trying to create a modern office, as overloading technology usage could mean staff find it difficult to work productively.

So, when it’s time to choose the furniture for an office space or new computers and video conferencing solutions, ensure that there’s a good balance. After all, you only have to take one look at Google and Microsoft to see that the companies are doing something right.

If you’re looking to modernise your office, contact us and we can start the process today!

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