Facebook doubles office space in Seattle

The social network is spreading its wings in Seattle, taking advantage of relatively cheap office space and a pool of talented engineers in Microsoft and Amazon’s home town. Facebook view

The view from Facebook's new Seattle space

According to a blog post today, Mark Zuckerberg’s unstoppable web phenomenon is moving into 27,000 square feet of space in a 20-story block in downtown Seattle. That’s double the size of their current rented offices overlooking Pike Place Market and Seattle’s harbor.

Seattle is Facebook’s biggest engineering office outside its home in Palo Alto, California, with more than 60 engineers. Zuckerberg said when he visited in June that the city was a great place for hiring, with so many software and mobile superstars working for local firms like Microsoft, Amazon, T-Mobile and a host of smaller firms.

Facebook’s Seattle crew already led the tie-up with Skype — now a part of Microsoft — and is busy on more video calling, iPad and iOS projects.

“This new office will give us room to keep growing as we hire the best engineers in Seattle,” said Ari Steinberg, the head of Facebook’s operation in the city. Back in August 2010, when he set up the office, there were only three local employees.

Steve Ballmer’s “awesome” new Ford hybrid

Times are tough for car makers, so Ford’s CEO Alan Mulally is going the extra mile by delivering cars to customers himself.

Unfortunately you have to be CEO of a very large company to qualify. Here’s Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer taking possession of his new Ford Fusion Hybrid at the software company’s Seattle-area campus.

“This is awesome!” Ballmer declared, before climbing into the car for a quick seminar on how it works. He didn’t seem too interested in the fuel consumption figures, but said his wife insisted on a hybrid.