One thing the data center will be used for is supporting Xbox Live and, presumably, the Xbox One's cloud computing features touted by Microsoft. Christian Belady, general manager of data center services at Microsoft, says this expansion "supports the growing demand for Microsoft's cloud services" and represents "our latest in efficient data center thinking."
Microsoft now owns about 40 acres of land in West Des Moines, employing around 50 individuals at the data center currently. Head count is expected to increase by at least 24 more in Iowa, Wired says. Other companies investing in Iowa data centers include Facebook and Google.