Inside Pioneer Studios. (Credit: SkB architects)

Good scoop from Jay Greene of CNet this afternoon, reporting that Microsoft has shuttered Pioneer Studios, a group in Pioneer Square that was started to incubate new consumer experiences for the company — including the ill-fated design for the Courier dual-screen tablet.

It isn’t so much the end of an era as the end of an experiment. And it was probably inevitable after the departure of the unit’s father, longtime Microsoft executive J Allard, last year.

But what really struck me as I was reading the CNet piece was the interior pictures from architectural firm SkB, which designed the space. Seriously, these offices look amazing. See more by looking under the workplace category on the SkB site, or check out the space here: PDF.

Say this for that Allard guy, he always did bring a sense of style to things.

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  • Guest

    Best wishes to Mr Allard on his next endeavour! His interior design skills have long been the height of innovation.

  • Guest

     Another waste of shareholder money. 

    • Guest

      Have to agree, Gertrude. The thought that a man* would pay hundreds of dollars for a tablet-based device with no keyboard is absurd. Microsoft was right to cancel the Courier project quickly to avoid embarrassment.

      * in this context, meaning “a member of homo sapiens” regardless of sex

      • Guest

        “Microsoft was right to cancel the Courier project quickly to avoid embarrassment.”

        MS was right to cancel Courier because it was vaporware and would have been noncompetitive price wise even if it wasn’t vaporware.

  • Gust

    Now all those innovators can scatter to found new companies that Microsoft will eventually buy for $8 billion apiece. 

  • Kevin Lisota

    That is definitely a cool and stylish office setup, but I still think the old Visio offices in Belltown were the coolest office space Microsoft ever had. While a little more “corporate” on the interior, the huge views of Elliott Bay and the city were totally awesome. Not to mention, they had a killer mini-golf course in the hallways. 

  • Joshua ‘Red’ Russak

    What is going to happen to the space? Remain in ‘tech’?

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