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Inside Pioneer Studios. (Credit: SkB architects)

Good scoop from Jay Greene of CNet News.com 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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