Microsoft Research is believed to be close to agreeing a deal with University of Cambridge to virtually double its space on institution’s West Cambridge site. Microsoft needs extra space to facilitate its rapid growth from Cambridge and reports from local property sector suggested it would move off West Cambridge site to another local base if it failed to negotiate suitable terms with university. While neither University nor Microsoft is prepared to comment, we understand an agreement is now imminent, reports. Cambridge was Microsoft Corporation’s first research base outside of its Redmond headquarters. It was set up in July 1997 with three researchers. Today over 100 researchers, mostly from Europe, are engaged in computer research at the lab. Microsoft Research was one of first residents at West Cambridge, the University’s science and technology campus.