A Big Day (and Week) for West Des Moines

It's a big week for West Des Moines, Iowa. First Shawn Johnson's gold medal. Now a $500 million Microsoft data center.

It's already been a big week for West Des Moines. And now Microsoft is coming.

On Tuesday, West Des Moines teen Shawn Johnson won a gold medal in the balance beam in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Johnson, 16, had already won three silvers, making her triumph on the beam one of the most popular moments of the games thus far.

This morning at 10:30 a.m. local time, Iowa Gov. Chet Culver will announce that Microsoft (MSFT) will build a huge data center in West Des Moines, which could generate local investment of up to $500 million - which is the amount the software giant is spending on similar projects in San Antonio, Texas and Northlake, Illinois. The fleet of new data centers is being built to support Microsoft's Live suite of online services. The project, which follows Google's decision to build a $600 million server farm in Council Bluffs, further boosts Iowa's reputation as an emerging hub for data centers

Here's a look at our coverage of the events leading up to today's announcement.

If you're interested in Iowa's burgeoning data center industry, these stories may also be of interest:

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