I didn't believe it when I heard it, but someone else confirmed. Microsoft had a 3 day 300 attendee event to Envision the Future Data Center, hosted by their Data Center Services group who operates and builds all Microsoft's data centers. MS Research had 60 attendees which is good to hear, and I guess we can look forward to more content like this.
That amount of brain power spending 3 days on data center issues is mind boggling. We could speculate on what they would talk about, but you can imagine with Windows, Microsoft IT, Management Tools, Exchange, SQL, Research, Search, MSN, Windows Live, and Data Center Operations all getting together to discuss how data centers could be different there were a lot of ideas no one else has tried.
I bet you if Microsoft opened the offsite to the public they could charge $2,000 each to attend. Maybe even $5,000.
Is Microsoft a new force changing data center design? If Microsoft does buy Yahoo, they will be the biggest data center operator. We all read about Google's data centers, but I don't think we can say they are changing how data centers are built as they don't give tours and share their operations. Microsoft has started to share parts of what they do, and we can hope they share more.