Corporate giant Microsoft plans to open a new data center in central Iowa.

"It’s really great news for the state of Iowa," Governor Chet Culver says. "Fifty good jobs — high-quality, well-paying jobs; $500 million of investment with this Microsoft data center; one of the largest investments ever in terms of a company coming to our state and we are very excited about it."

Earlier this year the governor and legislators adjusted a state law that provided incentives which lured Google to put a "server farm" in Council Bluffs, making the same incentives available to companies like Microsoft. "We’re fortunate that Microsoft has taken note," Culver says, "and once again Iowa is leading when it comes to creating these new, high-tech jobs for the future."

Microsoft is considering two or three different locations in central Iowa, according to the governor. "It’s likely, though, that that will be sorted out relatively soon because we believe they want to get this data center done, certainly a good portion of it, before the end of the year," Culver says.

As a result of the state incentive package, Microsoft will not pay sales taxes or property taxes on the computers it installs in the facility, nor will the company pay taxes on its electric bills. "If we didn’t take those types of legislative steps, it’s likely that today Microsoft would be making this announcement in another state," Culver says.

Bill Gates founded Microsoft in 1975 and in 1979 moved corporate headquarters to its present home in Redmond, Washington.