Microsoft

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Microsoft Reviews

Updated March 1, 2015
Updated March 1, 2015
9,252 Reviews
3.7
9,252 Reviews
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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella
1,576 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

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    The experience at Microsoft can be great, but depends heavily on the project and the team

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - User Experience Researcher II in Redmond, WA
    Current Employee - User Experience Researcher II in Redmond, WA

    I have been working at Microsoft

    Pros

    In a good organization, this can be a fantastic place to work. There can be encouragement for taking on new challenges, while also protecting employees from overcommitting. There can be exciting projects for exciting target audiences. The recent changes to the review and compensation model seem to be taking things in a far more competitive direction. There are a lot of smart people here, and also a lot of very nice people. In my experiences people are supportive of one another, and not competitive in a negative way.

    Cons

    Working in Redmond is a drag if you are a Seattle resident. The review process can be disadvantageous in some organizations, depending on what it is they value. If you work in a matrix-based organization, there can be challenges in making sure your work is "visible" to the people who actually make decisions about your advancement. There is some evidence that the process of innovation is not alive or well in some groups. Previously, it seemed the Microsoft underpaid, but it appears that is improving pretty quickly. Reorganizations can be frequent, and disruptive, in some organizations, and at some times.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Suggest more effort is made to ensure that mid-level or mid-career employees are not underpaid or underleveled compared to new hires. There is a need to give new employees the levels and the pay to get them to come to Microsoft. But that can create some odd situations for more senior people who joined when recruiting policies were not so aggressive.

    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 475 people found this helpful  

    Thoughts after 10 years....

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

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

    Pros

    1. If you love tech, this is a great place. No doubt you'll talk tech (mostly the MSFT stack) from enterprise to consumer - from PCs to phones to Xboxes - from datacenter to desktop.

    2. What were GREAT benefits are now VERY GOOD (took a small step down) but still probably better than you'll find at 99% of large corporations. If you've got family - the value of the benefits is even higher. 401k match is nice.

    3. Even with it's struggles MSFT is still a cash printing machine. This means if you can keep your nose clean and do reasonable work, you can have a stable job, pay your bills, feed your family, and not worry (too much) about layoffs. The stock you own likely won't tank, but probably won't go up much either. You'll get a bonus each year and some stock. It's a decent life if you aren't looking to light the world on fire.

    Cons

    Brand on Your Resume: After many years of losing market share and struggling to be at the front end of innovation and the fact that there's 90,000 employees, don't think MSFT is necessarily going to be attractive on your resume to more agile and smaller companies.

    Managing Your Career: Make you say this out loud so it registers - 90,000 employees work there. Double that for vendors. It is VERY hard to "stand out" and move up in the company. Don't expect your manager to be much of an advocate or enabler to help you meet your career goals - they are basically trying to survive the stack rank every year too. Not familiar with the stack rank? Check out the 2012 Vanity Fair article called "Microsoft's Lost Decade".

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I'll type it here - but I don't they are listening...
    1. Help proven talent move laterally in the company for new opportunities.
    2. Kill/evolve the stack rank. Here's basically how it's viewed:. 30% of the company gets 1s and 2s - and they are happy. 50% get 3s and that basically feels like getting a "C" in school. This sucks for talented people when a multitude of UNCONTROLLABLE conditions keep you from getting into 1 or 2 range. The 20% getting anything below a 3 are walking dead. In summary, 70% of the company walk away from the review cycle feeling like crap. This is no good.

    After 10 years, I'm leaving - it's just a matter of time until I find the right opportunity. I need to find a company spends 90% of it's time building technology experiences, as opposed to 90% of its time building PowerPoints. And I expect to refuse the exit interview - because if you really cared what I thought, you wouldn't ask me after I decided to leave.

  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    9 years later...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Account Technology Strategist
    Current Employee - Account Technology Strategist

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Very flexible for work styles. Good paycheck with security for the company

    Cons

    A lot has changed in the last 9 years, when I signed in our benefits were unbelievable and now they aren't that bad but it takes a lot of work to maintain the hsa plan and now I have like 4k a year of out of pocket expenses which I did not receive a pay increase for. Also if you're not at the mother ship in Redmond it's not the same experience.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Help those who help you and make sure you listen to what the field is saying. Give the field the same perks those of you who live in Washington get. Don't look at us like we are sub standard just because we don't go to the campus every day. We in the field keep the place going too, you know?

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Microsoft

    Pros

    Strategy of the new CEO is solid, confident, believable. Future of Azure and O365 is very strong. Good compensation with quota attainment.

    Cons

    Not a professional sales organization, this is a product company with much of its revenue coming from legacy products.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Many of the sales leaders are puppets, or become puppets and don't get involved in deals. This is a challenge in competitive situations where other company VP's actually give a hand.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Account Executive

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Account Executive in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Account Executive in New York, NY

    I have been working at Microsoft

    Pros

    Work life balance, benefits, growth potential, new CEO with a clear vision and desire to change the companies culture and future, manage your own business within a LARGE org., client focus

    Cons

    Silos, too many layers, field empowerment, month to month focus is unrealistic in in the old perpetual revenue model. Not a sales centric organization

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Adapt to annuity based compensation model and a relationship model, continue to remove silos

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Great engineers in emerging culture

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

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

    Pros

    good engineering practices, smart people, diverse product lines to work on

    Cons

    lot of employees are still old school, not fast enough

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to the youngsters

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  8.  

    Strong marketing culture

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

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

    Pros

    Very diverse set of opportunities across different marketing segments and disciplines; Tons of options for career path - different products, technical fields, local and global markets, etc. Some amazing talent to work alongside and learn from.

    Cons

    Very meeting driven culture; often times the politics can outweigh the ability to actually do constructive work; caught in the abyss sometimes between trying to establish (regain) a tech innovation culture and the inertia that comes with an org of the size and complexity it is.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep following new managements lead - cross platform, a focus on the customer, a culture focused on innovating away from over dependence on Windows as the mandatory platform.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  9.  

    I have had the opportunity to work on many new products, which has been extremely exciting.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

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

    Pros

    In certain areas, Microsoft is pushing the technology barriers and is getting involved in many new, exciting products. They also present many opportunities to move through-out the company.

    Cons

    The company tends to go through too many re-orgs which causes a lot of inefficiencies. At times they are not nimble enough to make fast decisions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please make up your mind and ensure that your plans are communicated down clearly vs getting everyone to react without clarity.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  10.  

    Great place to work; large company agility

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Microsoft

    Pros

    - Very smart people
    - Products touch every area of software (and some significant hardware)
    - Pay (in Seattle) is great against cost-of-living
    - Benefits are fantastic

    Cons

    - Large company syndrome- 100K employees doesn't move fast.
    - Very slowly converting to a more agile software mindset, but large chunks are still box-product thinkers
    - Tendency to group-think about brands, etc.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  11.  

    Great company to work for. Great benefits and flexible schedule.

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

    I have been working at Microsoft

    Pros

    The salary is great as are the benefits.

    Cons

    Are expected to work hard and work long hours.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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