Microsoft Reviews

Updated July 25, 2015
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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella
48 Ratings

Pros
  • Work-life balance is what you make it; always been fine for me (in 859 reviews)

  • You will work with some incredibly smart people (in 991 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance can be very bad (in 552 reviews)

  • The performance review system is broken (in 400 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

495 Employee Reviews

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  1. Only worth working there if you need immigration support

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Redmond, WA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Redmond, WA

    I worked at Microsoft full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Excellent immigration department. Very good (used to be excellent) health care plan. Good benefits and decent salary.

    Cons

    You will destroy your health trying to do anything that makes sense there. The founders (specially Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates) were bad role models and they heavily influenced all leadership under them. It will take 1-2 decades since both retired to decontaminate the company from the negative influence they had in leadership. The best picture I have seen that describes the work environment is the one where the individual points a gun to all other individuals that he needs to interact at work. Projects are terribly bad planned by the top leadership and more than 50% of them are cancelled before completion. Don't fool yourself thinking that this is due to innovation and experimentation; it is simply due to bad planning. Company acquisition is insane. Billions of dollars are spent buying companies that are quickly destroyed by not letting the acquired company work the way they know. Egos fly super high (again, influence from the founders) and most top leadership don't hesitate to put their own career interests above the company's interests. This means, hide what is failing, present and sell what you didn't do but later tell it is "work in progress" if confronted with the truth, etc. Above all, if you are a software developer, you will be working with technologies that the market doesn't want to use anymore. So if you work there for a few years you end up with a unappealing resume when you try to leave the company.


  2. Helpful (2)

    Don't stay as long as I have!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Development Engineer in Redmond, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Development Engineer in Redmond, WA

    I have been working at Microsoft

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Good benefits and decent work/life balance.

    Cons

    Harsh, old school performance review system. Skillset gained inside is of limited use outside.


  3. Program Manager

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Redmond, WA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Redmond, WA

    I worked at Microsoft full-time (More than 8 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Does great things for the community Nice benefits Good pay

    Cons

    Too bureaucratic and not enough doers anymore. The company really changed in the 8 years I was there. Lots of bad managers running around who aren't getting the help the need to be successful.

    Advice to Management

    Pay more attention to managers scores and actually do something about managers with low ones.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    Went down the drain

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Service Operations Engineer in Redmond, WA
    Former Employee - Service Operations Engineer in Redmond, WA

    I worked at Microsoft full-time (More than 8 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    This USED to be a great company to work for. I have been with Microsoft in one way, shape, or form since 2006. I have been both a contractor/vendor and a full-time direct employee. Microsoft used to be an awesome company with vision, great products, and they treated people with respect, dignity, and overall fostered a very healthy work environment.

    Cons

    Where do I begin? 1.) They drag their feet when hiring you (could literally take 5 weeks for them to get through all their corporate nightmare processes (see next point), but are quick to fire and lay off people (I wasn't fired or laid off but just saying) 2.) Overrun by corporate processes and clutter. Everything is more complicated than it should be by 6 or 7 levels. This is showing in the marketplace too 3.) A lot of ancient arrogance. There are still zombies within the company that have worked here 10+ years who think they know better than everyone and this is hurting Microsoft in the long run. Good example: Windows Phone. 4.) They have a clear and distinct "first and second class citizen" system. As a full-time employee, you're considered a first-class citizen. As a contingent staff (contractor/vendor) you're considered as disposable as a styrofoam cup. But wait, it gets worse. Not only is this true, they make it a point, on a constant basis, to remind you that you're dirt and you will be tossed to the curb at any time. No I'm not exaggerating! 5.) There is a constant sense of "everything needs to be done yesterday" everywhere. So you could pump up really good work, and the response would be like "That's great, you should have done all of this 3 weeks ago. You're already behind". Once in a while from a crappy boss here and there I can understand. But this is pretty much everywhere.

    Advice to Management

    I can summarize it as such: 1.) GET RID OF THE ZOMBIES that are dragging this company down. 2.) LISTEN to your employees and customers. Don't kid yourself. You don't! 3.) Treat people with respect. They are not paper cups. 4.) For the love of god, stop with the corporate red tape clutter. This is holding you back 5.) Stop making up excuses of "We have to save money in this tough economy", and laying off thousands of people only to give massive bonuses to senior executives who don't do a whole lot and are ALREADY millionaires!


  6. Stifling, Toxic, Political

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director in Redmond, WA
    Former Employee - Director in Redmond, WA

    I worked at Microsoft full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Nice buildings Green campus Decent food Still a few good perks Everyone comes in late and goes home early

    Cons

    Hire for sociopathic tendencies Cutthroat Complete lack of innovation Complete lack of creativity Very few "decent people" to work with Heavy politics and bureacracy

    Advice to Management

    Split up into 3 companies. PC (Win/Office), Internet, and Consumer (XBOX, etc)


  7. Helpful (1)

    Stagnant and political

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Communications Manager in Redmond, WA
    Former Employee - Senior Communications Manager in Redmond, WA

    I worked at Microsoft full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Good pay and benefits, though they have chipped away at the health care. Huge company, so you have mobility options. Lots of smart people around to learn from. Plenty of training options. There are still some very good people there, but many have left.

    Cons

    The company has little or no direction. They don't seem to know what they do anymore and wouldn't recognize a business opportunity if it bit them in the arse. Very little innovation occurs. There's a cadre of old guard millionaires who stifle any new ideas because they might jeopardize their gravy train. For crying out loud, retire already. Plenty of overlapping functions, adds to confusion and internal competition. You control a very small slice of a huge company. If you are lucky, that slice actually scales because you can reach 1B+ customers. But most people are so far removed from the customer that they have no idea what they need.

    Advice to Management

    Find some real areas to innovate. You are so far behind your competitors that you can't catch up with acquisitions any more. Try something different. Stop paying homage to Bill G. He hasn't had a good idea in 30 years.


  8. Helpful (5)

    Circa 2015: Some new paint, same old walls...

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Principal Software Development Engineer in Redmond, WA
    Current Employee - Principal Software Development Engineer in Redmond, WA

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    - Depending on the team, you can get a great work-life balance. . If you find a good manager in an area that you like to work on, it is a very low stress environment. - You will get good resources, unlike in startups, or medium-size companies. The company does have resources, and if you land in the lucky areas in which it is investing heavily, no expense will be spared. - Total compensation package is still good. You can definitely get more money at some other competitors, but rarely a total compensation package that is guaranteed. Don’t be fooled by that lucky guy who left at the right time many years ago: for each of those, there are dozens of others who left and are back at Microsoft after burning their savings.

    Cons

    - Lots of high-level managers no longer get anything about tech. They just prepare and present slides, with lots of help, and forward messages. You need to ignore upper management and still execute correctly, while giving credit to them in long congratulation messages at the end of the tasks, so they forget what they told you to do and think the implemented ideas came from them! - Microsoft can cash current cows for a little while. Because of this, you will see groups of longtime friends in key positions, even when those are related to innovation, just trying to repeat circa 2015 what they did 10 or 15 years ago. - Coming from a recent "non-calibration" meeting in which we were supposed to discuss impact: pure BS. Lots of people will get bad rewards next September based on their perceived lack of loyalty to the team or managers. It is all about the commitment to the team, and how well the person is getting along with peers.

    Advice to Management

    - You cannot have a sales manager that won't sell. You cannot have an engineering manager that won't be able to start an IDE and compile some software. You cannot have a marketing manager that is unable to make a campaign to save his life if needed. Every single functional manager should be able to creat something other that slide decks and e-mail.


  9. Seems good so far

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Manager in Redmond, WA
    Current Employee - Program Manager in Redmond, WA

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Free Drinks, mostly coke products Loose Hours, I can come in as late as 10:30 and nobody bats an eye as long as I get my crap done. Simple Job, I make powerpoint presentations on features that I want added to the product and talk to customers to confirm what I want to build will solve their problems.

    Cons

    Hard to move around. There's not a lot of opportunities for networking here and you're kind of shoved into a random spot when you get here from you BA in CS. Reviews are worthless. People won't really want to do something unless it gets them noticed in reviews. You constantly have to "remind them" that your manager loves a feature and wants it done for them to finally lick their lips and get to work.

    Advice to Management

    Fix reviews. Your products will have bloated stupid features that only sound good to the internal politics of your review system. If reviews required numbers next to a feature of how impactful it was, and was reviewed by a third party, you'd see many "star" employees turn up dry, as their abilities in actually driving your products to success are mediocre at best.


  10. Helpful (2)

    Been there

    Former Employee - Program Manager in Redmond, WA
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Redmond, WA

    I worked at Microsoft (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Smart people, interesting work. Historically great.

    Cons

    As with any company, depends on which group you're in. In many cases, however, the old stack ranking system (purported to have been eliminated) still exists and is heavily influenced by politics. Loyalty to long-term, continuously productive employees is nonexistent. Ageism is rife.


  11. Helpful (1)

    So so

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer in Redmond, WA
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer in Redmond, WA

    I worked at Microsoft full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    1. compensation is relatively good 2. work-life balance 3. private office

    Cons

    1. unhealthy managers vs engineers proportion 2. a lot of managers do not have technical background 3. micromanagement 4. slow business processes 5. msft technologies stack (a lot of outdated approaches)

    Advice to Management

    1. engineering culture needs repairing (average level is too low) 2. management is awful and it slows down the development/research 3. culture doesn't suit a tech company



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