Google's Kirkland office is home to cloud-computing projects that compete directly with Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, services that deliver computing power to customers over the Internet.
Google launched its Amazon-killer cloud service, Google Compute Engine, with much fanfare in June. So far, it hasn't killed Amazon. Google has been lowering prices and ramping up partnership deals. But it also has other, more successful cloud services, including Google App Engine, which competes head-to-head with Microsoft Azure.
The Kirkland office has been steadily grabbing employees away from Microsoft and Amazon since it opened with 400 people in 2009, Dudley reports. When Google ramps up to 1,000 employees, Kirkland will be Google's third-largest engineering center, behind its 40,000-employee Googleplex headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., and its 3,200-employee New York office.
Its cloud isn't the only product Kirkland engineers are working on. Others include Google Voice, Google Talk, and the Chrome browser and operating system.
It won't be hard for Google to hire employees. The new office will be filled with Googleplex-like perks. Employees are reportedly putting together a wishlist now, but they already have a climbing wall, kitchens complete with gourmet cooks and espresso bars, music jam rooms, and motorboats “docked” indoors, serving as informal meeting rooms and work spaces like this one:
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