Microsoft Reviews

Updated June 21, 2015
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  1. top choice for an industrial research lab

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Intern in Redmond, WA
    Former Employee - Research Intern in Redmond, WA

    I worked at Microsoft

    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Working at MSR is very demanding but very rewarding. You work with incredibly smart people, you are given an array of opportunities to learn and interact with all aspects of the research division and the whole company, the tech talks are great -- every day there are a few invited talks on all sorts of topics, the atmosphere is very comfortable (e.g. no overload with meetings), you set your own goals, agenda, and what you want to accomplish.

    Cons

    Success at MSR is measured more by papers you publish, and less by code you write. If you come in as an intern, the expectations are that you will get a paper our of your summer project. You could code up the coolest system in the world, and even it is very practically useful (even for MS products), it might not be worth much unless you can identify the novel aspects that distinguish it from prior work, write a paper about it, and publish in a top conference. This can be hard to take for people who enjoy development or who don't know how to (or don't want to) write good papers. An exception is tech transfer, but this doesn't happen as often as it should, researchers have to go out and convince product teams (who are often skeptical) to use their ideas. MSR is a great place if you like pure research, going to conferences, and implementing quick mockups and prototypes, and don't like writing and shipping production-quality code. MSR is not so great if you dislike paper deadlines.

    Advice to Management

    Keep investing in MSR, actively encourage and reward tech transfer. Encourage researchers to work on bigger projects with more impact even if it means that they won't be publishing papers for a while.


  2. Great place to intern, not sure if I'd want to stay there

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET) Intern in Redmond, WA
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET) Intern in Redmond, WA

    I worked at Microsoft

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Solid, stable company. Hey, in this economy, that's nothing to sneeze at. The impression that I have is that (in spite of the layoffs) that's still more or less the case.
    As an intern I found that the company policy was very open towards interns -- I was surprised and impressed at the knowledge available to me and the trust placed in me.

    Cons

    I found that
    And seriously, free food would go miles towards a more awesome work environment.
    As an intern I found that the full time employees assigned to work with me were preoccupied with their real jobs to the exclusion of helping me out; however, this might have been a peculiarity of my group or situation, or possibly I should have reached out more myself, as I know other interns did not find this to be the case.

    Advice to Management

    Encourage the big-picture openness of communication to filter down to the little things where it really matters.


  3. Perfect work-life balance for a tech company

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Summer Intern in Redmond, WA
    Former Employee - Summer Intern in Redmond, WA

    I worked at Microsoft

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Work environment is laid back. Focus is put on your completing your work, and not when (hours of the day) you do it. Great compensation.

    Cons

    Pretty obvious, but when you have a company this size, bureaucracy becomes an issue.

    Advice to Management

    Streamline communication from employees to those higher up. Shorter release cycles.


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  5. Research Intern happy with experience

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Intern in Redmond, WA
    Former Employee - Research Intern in Redmond, WA

    I worked at Microsoft

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great benefits, incredibly smart people, worldwide impact. You will have all the tools you need to do a great job if you have the energy and motivation. You can meet with anyone in the company if you can find time; everyone is happy to help each other out, to give feedback, to talk about career advancement. You will be paid better than at other similar companies. An internship at MSR is more structured and more productive than at IBM or Google; you will also be encouraged to publish.

    Cons

    The commutes around Redmond are horrible. There are no trains or light rail options; you must be on the road whether in your car, a bus, a carpool, on a bike or on foot. From near the 520 bridge in Seattle, the commute takes between 30 and 120 minutes. Microsoft's "hero" culture can be tough for new employees to navigate. Shyness will get you nowhere.

    Advice to Management

    Train managers to be managers. Good engineers do not automatically make good managers.


  6. Microsoft, a great place to work

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

    I have been working at Microsoft

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The people are simply amazing. The coworkers are friendly, helpful and easy-going. You will often see people helping each other out with issues and answering questions, even if it means taking time out of their schedule There is little office politics and one's hard work does not go unnoticed. There is a lot of fun events designed to keep employees in the loop about upcoming Microsoft developments and technologies. There are often technical demos and presentations.

    Cons

    The weather in the region is pretty gloomy. It is often cloudy. Also, there are not enough women in the workplace.

    Advice to Management

    Concentrate on interoperability and researching consumer needs.


  7. A Good Place for a Start

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer (SDE) Intern in Redmond, WA
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer (SDE) Intern in Redmond, WA

    I worked at Microsoft

    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great place for an internship. Allows you to get real world experience and make a difference. The work is challenging, guided while not being too stifiling. HR works well with the interns, ensuring that they are taken care off. But with so many interns (and regular employees), "things" are bound to happen. While definitely not the best in the industry, the benefits are decent enough.

    Cons

    Too big. Small fish in a big pond complex. Sometimes you wonder how much you can climb. Some people may be arrogant, which can be a bit of a turnoff sometimes.

    And of course: the stigma of the evil empire.

    Advice to Management

    Be more open and transparent with the rest of the company.


  8. Great Company for freshers

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer Intern in Bangalore (India)
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer Intern in Bangalore (India)

    I worked at Microsoft

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good Benefits,Flexible Timings,Great Food
    Bangalore is a great city to live in

    Cons

    No cons as far I worked for 2 months as intern


  9. Great

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Research Intern in Beijing, Beijing (China)
    Former Intern - Research Intern in Beijing, Beijing (China)

    I worked at Microsoft as an intern (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Nice mentor. Flexible working time

    Cons

    No free food but you can find a lot of restaurant near by


  10. A place to develop your research identity.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Interaction Design Intern in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Interaction Design Intern in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)

    I worked at Microsoft (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Diverse and interesting employees, collaborative environment, novel research projects, freedom to pursue research goals.

    Cons

    Long hours, insufficient access to healthy food, older office cubicle environment, several layers of bureaucracy, confusing travel and research expense reimbursement,.

    Advice to Management

    Closer management of project and a more in-depth understanding of employees' work would yield results faster.


  11. Worked as SDET intern

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET) Intern in Hyderābād (India)
    Former Intern - Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET) Intern in Hyderābād (India)

    I worked at Microsoft as an intern (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    You'll find the best people working around yourself, which is the biggest motivation. Though it depends on team, in general people are given authority to take decisions. Recreational area is good, which includes TT, foosball, chess tables, and x-box with kinect. People are co-operative, help you learn.

    Cons

    Though they have many projects going on, the pace of work is average. This is not to say that you won't get a lot of work, its that you won't see your deliverables go live for a long time. There are good things to learn, but not many new things to learn. You can get similar opportunities at other places too.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing the good work. Try to pull some more important stuff to India office.



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