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Congress

Microsoft Showcases New K Street Offices

June 15, 2011

Working for one of the world's largest tech companies can have its perks, and Microsoft's new K Street crib is chock full of high-tech gadgets.

The company showed off its shiny new Washington offices on Wednesday with an open house that featured flashy displays of, among other things, 3-D colonoscopies.

Also on display was the new Innovation Center, which includes three 103-inch plasma touch screens as well as four additional touch screens embedded in movable glass panels. Visiting technocrats can challenge each other in the office's Xbox Lounge, which features the body-tracking technology Kinect.

Microsoft had limited D.C. resources when it was hit with a federal antitrust lawsuit in the 1990s. But as technology issues gain prominence on Capitol Hill, companies have upgraded their Washington presence from basic staff offices to swankier facilities designed to impress. Perhaps learning from Microsoft's missteps, Google opened a 31,000-square-foot office on New York Avenue in 2008.

Microsoft's 26 (give or take a few) Washington staff members moved into the new digs in March, but parts of the office were under construction until late May. The new space at 901 K Street NW is more than 20,000 square feet, making it double the size of the earlier office at 1401 I Street NW.

At Wednesday's event, Microsoft researchers showcased some of their latest technology, including a system for virtual colonoscopies that help patients dodge the embarrassing and uncomfortable real thing.

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