"We just announced we're going to start to break ground in Iowa." With that comment at the close of a video interview with Om Malik, Microsoft's Debra Chrapaty confirmed the company's intention to build a major data center in Iowa, which is already home to a huge Google data center project in Council Bluffs.
Microsoft's interest in Iowa became known back in February, after which state legislators quickly passed a tax incentive package offering Microsoft a set of tax breaks identical to those arranged for Google. No site has been publicly identified. Microsoft's recent data center projects have involved more than $500 million in investment for each facility.
While Chrapaty mentioned an announcement, there's been no mention of the project in recent days in Iowa's major news outlets. One thing is certain: Chrapaty is in a position to know. She's the Corporate Vice President of Global Foundation Services, the group responsible for all of Microsoft's data centers.
Microsoft is in the midst of a major expansion of its Internet infrastructure as it battles Google (GOOG) and other major competitors in web-based services. In November the company announced a pair of $500 million data center projects, one in Northlake, Illinois and another in Dublin, Ireland. Microsoft has already completed a huge new data center in Quincy, Washington and is preparing to open a new facility in San Antonio, Texas.
Last June Google announced plans to build a $600 million data center in Council Bluffs. In November the company purchased an additional 1,000 acres of land in the area for possible further expansion of the project.