September 7, 2003

Microsoft Way goes nowhere

- by David "cdlu" Graham -

Microsoft Way is a north-south road in Redmond, Washington. A study of Mapquest's map of the road reveals a number of startling features of this particular road.

For one thing, Microsoft Way originates on Ne 39th Street and ends at Ne 31st Street. Both of these streets are oriented east-west, and neither of them continues after encountering Microsoft Way. Microsoft Way, from start to finish, is about half a mile long. It appears to have no meaningful start and no meaningful end. It is merely a blip on the map that goes from nowhere to nowhere.

Mapquest, interestingly, shows Microsoft's campus in a somewhat blueish colour, which its legend reveals is reserved for "Educational Facilities." While using Microsoft products can be an educational experience in a variety of areas, there is no evidence that Microsoft's campus, is, indeed, an educational institution.

In the centre of campus there is a large, circular road that has only a few intersections with other roads, and never meets Microsoft Way. Inside this circle are at least six other circular roads, many of which are listed as being one way.

This lends to the possibility that entering Microsoft campus by a way other than Microsoft Way could be a one way street to an infinite loop of infinite loops on a blue screen of educational cul-de-sacs.

Perhaps this would explain the proximity of the Eastside Hospital to the edge of the campus.

More telling, though, is that a careful inspection of the otherwise inexplicable layout of Microsoft Way, Ne 31st, 36th, and 39th streets reveals that the roads together appear to form the letter "f." More importantly, 159th and 163rd avenues combined with Ne 36th Way -- the post-intersection name of Ne 36th Street --
make up the distinct shape of the letter "u."

The campus map of Microsoft does not show any straight lines from one point to any other point. In fact, one Microsoft employee, M. Hutfles, confided in us that the "campus, when viewed from the air, looks like a side from the Hellraiser puzzle box and is about as easy to get around."

With Microsoft's own employees being confounded by the endlessly complicated layout of the campus, we can only assume that Microsoft Way and its surrounding streets were laid out the way they were for some other reason.

Perhaps it is a blueprint for their software?


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