The company calls the site the Center for Information Work. It features a range of technologies, including forthcoming Tablet PC devices and futuristic software and hardware that the company says may appear within the next two to five years.
The centre is a counterpart to the Microsoft Home, a facility the company opened in January 2000 to provide a peek at future technologies that Microsoft expects to appear in future homes, such as wired kitchen appliances and home theatres.
In addition to Tablet PC devices from hardware manufacturer Acer, Microsoft has put several prototype technologies on display at the Centre for Information Work. One such prototype is a video camera that can record a 360-degree view of a room, called RingCam, which Microsoft says could be an ideal tool for video conferencing.
The company is also showing a prototype product it calls BroadBench. This is a curved, ultra-wide display that wraps around a user and allows the user to open and see multiple applications at once. There are also prototype Pentium 4 PCs from Intel and flat-panel and projection displays from Sony, Microsoft said.
RingCam and BroadBench, like other technologies that may find their way into Microsoft's office of the future, will not necessarily become products, the company said. Approximately 1,000 invited customers are expected to tour the facility each month, and the company will gather feedback from visitors regarding the various technologies before taking any to market, it said.