The Garage: Microsoft’s “Central Park”

Picture a place where an artist from Halo sketches next to an Excel calculation engine developer, a sanctuary where they both can innovate, and kick back with a couple pints of Manny’s.

This is The Garage, Microsoft’s after-hours idea factory where innovative minds of all stripes gather to tinker, to breathe and to dream big.

It’s here that the Mouse Without Borders was born, and the idea for the forgotten Outlook attachment reminder was hatched. In the Garage’s nearly six years, more than 3,000 employees have completed over 10,000 projects.

It’s critical in a hard-driving, fast-moving company like Microsoft to have a place like The Garage, says program manager Ben Gilbert.

“It’s a sort of preserve – an open space where people can find their wonder and creativity,” he explains. “Microsoft needs The Garage like New York City needs Central Park.”

This sanctuary from the day-to-day noise welcomes both business-savvy minds and heads-in-the-clouds tinkerers alike.

Meet Gilbert and the other Garage denizens, and learn more about their native habitat here.