Microsoft

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Microsoft Reviews

Updated December 22, 2014
Updated December 22, 2014
8,788 Reviews
3.7
8,788 Reviews
Rating Trends

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Approve of CEO
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella
1,348 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Really good work-life balance compared to other tech companies of the same caliber (in 859 reviews)

  • You will get the opportunity to work with smart people solving real world problems (in 991 reviews)


Cons
  • Work life balance is not good in some places but it really depends on your role (in 552 reviews)

  • Performance review system basically encourage competition inside the team (in 400 reviews)

More Highlights

2,193 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Too much politics and middle management.

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

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Work-life balance is generally good and that depends on the group Dev manager and working roles.

    Cons

    Review system totally depends on a manager's personnel taste. If you are not the type, then you will be managed out easily. It has nothing to do with talent, effort or achievements. Also some manager wouldn't gather feedbacks from peers, just his own taste to give employee a nightmare life.

           Also there are too much re-orgs happening every day. I interviewed with a good manager and got hired in. But I was assigned a new manager in 4 months without any prior notice. Then I got hired in a new team with another great manager but also got reorged quickly to a totally different manager who is totally not a match from the beginning. So what you are committed for is not what you get at all.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Flat out middle management

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Single White Male Product Advisor at Microsoft Retail Store at age 48.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Product Advisor in Boca Raton, FL
    Current Employee - Product Advisor in Boca Raton, FL

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Good Benefits and Educational Opportunities with free certification testing. The benefits have been reliable and punctual with holidays and overtime paid time and a half. Promotion of minorities and women is emphasized. Customers can be more polite and generous than expected depending on the location.

    Cons

    Pay in Florida is lower than national average because of low state taxes at 12.50 per hour. Benefits could be better at 401k match and stock discount. Medical benefits are better the government requirements, however, if you are single the HSA contributions are much less. It has also been a "pressured sales environment" with little retail experience at the management level constantly changing policies from poor customer reviews due to management policies and training more focused on sales at the detriment of customer service. Customers can be rude and nasty and interrogate you on knowledge of new product launches. Sales are good, but serial returns can be emotionally draining with store management complaining about all the return product administrative duties. While promotion of minorities and women should be encouraged, as a 48 white male, I don't feel the merits of a college education, military service and retail experience are being recognized for promotion of younger less educated minorities and women for PR purposes.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Most upper management have little or no military service and should be more appreciative of the perseverance of military veterans to the challenges of customer facing Microsoft Public Relations. Management appears to "hate" dealing with everyday customer service while administrating from the shadows and I feel like a low-level grunt for having to do so. Management should have to deal with the "mystery shopper" and customer survey score at some expense to their salary.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    Very political place

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

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    People are kind in general and very helpful in analyzing your strengths and ways you can grow in those strengths. Microsoft is a study of the human psyche and how to manage stakeholders under difficult conditions. You will learn how to navigate highly complex systems and structures that weren't designed to flow together originally, using systems that aren't typically built for the purpose that you are using them. If you enjoy thinking through massive amounts of ambiguity and aren't driven to create processes to fix those systems, you will do well at Microsoft.

    Microsoft is also an amazing place to build a vast network via consulting firms and FTEs at the company. You will also benefit from learning how a multitude of other companies are set up and structured. I've found this to be incredibly helpful in determining what teams and companies you would like to create one day as an entrepreneur or what places/structures you would find most valuable for employment.

    Cons

    The company is struggling with massive amounts of change coming from the new CEO, especially in marketing. Microsoft marketing is very unstructured, lacking ability to understand or utilize data to make informed decisions about customer interactions. Because it is such a political place, teams will often group together to discount an individual or team that attempts to create structure via analytical marketing. Marketing campaigns are often not measured, and the monetary waste and lack of frugality is substantial. The company overall lacks a pulse on their customers' interest/pain points/goals, especially in B2B.

    Leadership lacks vision, long-term goals, and ability to simplify or communicate. Management is highly political; some teams hire groups of people to pad for a riff without ever attempting to develop the new employees. Employees typically spend time managing vendors and lack the understanding of how the job is actually done. With technical roles, the vendor teams who are in the details will often indicate roadblocks that, if the FTEs understood the details, wouldn't exist.

    Although the company used to freely promote from within, promotions are much more difficult to come by now.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Managing people should always include developing them and helping them find their passions. Be more direct with people about ways they can contribute to the company. Too much ambiguity creates lack of focus for many. If you contribute to others, they will contribute to you. Don't be in competition with your own employees!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Perspective of an Orange Badge (not a REAL Microsoft employee)

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

    I have been working at Microsoft as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    * Best campus of any company in the world. Like working in a 5-star resort every day.
    * Big and rich enough that, as long as you're not performing awfully, you'll blend in and remain on your team.
    * Feels cool to say that you worked on this or that Windows product

    Cons

    The elephant in the room is that most people in the Seattle area who say they "work for Microsoft" actually "work AT Microsoft" and are employed by 3rd parties. Staffing MS teams is like a big business around here. It's gotten out of control. Half the people you see walking around Redmond wear an orange MS badge, meaning they're contractors, not real employees of MS. To say that contractors are 2nd-class citizens at MS is an understatement. While every big tech firm (Amazon, Google, Intel, etc.) has a reputation of creating a class system of FTEs and contractors, MS takes it 1 step further in every way. By the time I was done working there, I had developed an obsessive habit of darting my eyes down at someone's beltline to see what color badge they had at their waist.

    It's probably a cool company if you're an actual employee of the company. If you're offered one of these "orange badge" positions by some staffing agency, I would not take it unless you have absolutely no other options.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You keep saying you're going to rely less on contractors, but then why do I keep getting so many staffing agencies calling me about the MS contract positions they have set up?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Political, finance is a relationship manager, not driving results

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

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Good pay and benefits, great opportunity to develop your business-facing skills. Decent systems. Paperless and often phone-based meetings allow for you to work-where-you-are, which is great given how much time you would otherwise spend traveling to different buildings and campuses for meetings.

    Cons

    Very smart people not always doing smart work. Overly dependent on vendors. Massive layoffs and furloughs for vendors is effective because of the inefficiencies, but hurts real people. Stack-ranking stills happens, despite mgmt. aggressively denying it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    SDE for 2 years

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

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    good to learn MS tech for new grad, good green card support

    Cons

    low benefit, average engineering level is low
    too many managers

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Constant Uncertainty

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

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Benefits, challenging work, internal movement/growth, resume enhancing, time off policy, flexible work schedules

    Cons

    The term "constant change" is a gross understatement. Your personal experience will depend on multiple uncontrollable factors. For instance I had 3 different direct managers in under 1.5 years and a constant team changes. Your learning curve can be as long as a couple of years due to the amount of company/cultural change.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Simply be as honestly transparent as possible. Lead by example.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Great experience as an intern, made you feel like right at home.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Developer in Guaynabo, PR
    Former Employee - Software Developer in Guaynabo, PR

    I worked at Microsoft as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Is a very profesional team environment.
    Take every opinion seriously.
    They are side by side in your learning process with them.

    Cons

    Interns do not get full benefits of what the company offer.
    Never got the badge for access to the employee area.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Great company but (now-former) stack rank mentality hurts company

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

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Reputation, world-class employees and facilities, and benefits. I pinch myself every day.

    Cons

    Iceberg minutiae of things...the number of approvals required up the change of command is frustrating - not agile. Don't make everybody and anyone a PM; some need to learn the ropes first and then become a PM. I understand there are superstars, but there are some who either can't PM or were put in that position and won't let go of what they used to do.

    I am torn because working is a dream come true and, compared to other tech companies, it really is a spectacular place. But, I don't feel like I do as much work as I can - between the number of approvals needed and all the meetings, I feel stuck - I feel like we should be moving much faster.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    We live in a bubble in Redmond; our consumers don't make the money we make nor do some (speaking from the consumer-side) do not understand technology as much as we do. It's not that they're dumb, it's they need technology that meets their needs NOT ours. What's cool and dazzling is cumbersome to the consumer; simplicity and clean design are what will propel us into the future.

    The backstabbing of coworkers, in part due to the past stack ranking structure (which, despite our new structure, there are still ways to cheat, if not fix, the system) makes collaboration a war not a symbiotic relationship. It's not just about making yourself look good here; it's about how can I get ahead - and that means not sharing work with team members (to load balance - the irony of that phrase cracks me up) just so you can look good while you complain about stress and 14-hour days is mind-boggling. The funny thing is after a bit, the stress gets to be so much for these types of employees, you wind-up doing some of the work when you just wish they admitted they need help and took your offer of help in the first place.

    The layoffs have been demoralizing; why do I need to give it my all when I'm just a number on a balance sheet? It doesn't mean I work my butt off, it just means that when when I need to work 125%, I'm only going to give you 100%.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Company Compensation

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

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great salary structure. Good bonus for performing candidates

    Cons

    Bureaucratic but it is changing fast

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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