Apple's redefining the mobile phone and Google's tossing up $600m data centres like they're Starbucks franchises, but up in Redmond, they're building a parking garage.

And people say Microsoft has forgotten how to innovate.

At four stories deep and four football fields long, Microsoft Live Parking 1.0 will be able to hold 5,000 cars, making it the "second largest underground lot in the western hemisphere" according to one hyperbolic report. If there's one thing Microsoft knows how to do, it's create really big holes.

According to disreputable sources, Microsoft employees will be able to choose from six different types of parking space, depending on the size of their car's engine and how much they're willing to pay. To ensure the lot is secure, Microserfs will be asked to confirm their choice to enter the lot, engage the parking brake, open the doors, and get out of their cars. Most pre-2008 models may be incompatible with the lot; however, the company will publish APIs (automobile parking interfaces) for retrofitting cars to meet the lot's requirements.

Google has already filed a complaint with the American Automobile Association, claiming the lot is incompatible with its new hybrid cars that return energy to the grid.

Soil removal is slated to be done by October, however sources say Microsoft is finding plenty of bugs in it, which may delay the lot's official launch until sometime in 2012.

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