Microsoft Reviews

Updated October 21, 2014
Updated October 21, 2014
8,371 Reviews
3.8
8,371 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella
1,094 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Really good work-life balance compared to other tech companies of the same caliber (in 804 reviews)

  • You will get the opportunity to work with smart people solving real world problems (in 959 reviews)


Cons
  • Work life balance is not good in some places but it really depends on your role (in 530 reviews)

  • In the review system there is a "check box" equivalent to a rank of Underperforming (in 393 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Product Marketing

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

    I worked at Microsoft full-time

    Pros

    Good work life balance. Great place for people trying to balance a career and family.

    Cons

    Change and innovation happen very slowly.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 377 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. 5 people found this helpful  

    Lots of opportunity, interesting projects, smart, motivated people

    • 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 full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    One of the best things about Microsoft is that you are working with smart, motivated people all the time. You will find great challenges and be inspired by your peers on a daily basis. I'm always growing and learning. This can be untrue in certain teams, but in general I've found this to be true for most of the teams I've worked with.

    Loads of opportunity to try new things. I've worked on many different products and gained experience in multiple roles. You can truly change your career while staying in the comfort of the same company.

    Cons

    Politics becomes a part of your everyday pretty quickly as you move up in the company. There is a lot of overhead to get sign off on changes and move forward with something new. They want to be agile, but this is the biggest obstacle in actually being good at it.

    There is a lot of pressure for moving up. This is a good thing in a lot of respects, but can be stressful if you find yourself on a competitive team where moving up is difficult, or if you want to coast for a while career wise and focus on other aspects of life. It's not the place you can just do good work and not worry about promotions. If you're not moving up, you are eventually moving out.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The best managers I've had were also great mentors. If every employee must drive their own career, I think every manager should be able to provide the tools and advice to know how to do that effectively based on personal goals. I find this far more valuable than just project status.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Exciting place for young professionals to build their career

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

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

    Pros

    - A lot of support for young college hires to gain experience and get your foot into the career
    - Culture is changing. Satya is really getting our culture direction is the right direction

    Cons

    - People don't believe in us.. frustrating to see it in the media
    - PMs...... too many of them doing mindless / useless features for their own job security
    - MSIT absolutely sucks

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I think management is going on the right direction - removing stupid "processes"

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great people, going through lots of change

    Current Employee - Solution Specialist
    Current Employee - Solution Specialist

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

    Pros

    There are some amazingly talented people at Microsoft and working with them is a pleasure. The sales environment is getting more high-pressure, but still nothing like what you hear from other places. They froze S-plan (sales people) base salaries and upped OTE by 8%, I believe, but the quotas are getting staggering. Everyone on my team has a quota over $10M. You can make a comfortable living and have good work-life balance.

    Cons

    A lot of transition means searching for answers. First it was Software + Services, now its Cloud First, Mobile First. There is a huge push to begin LOB selling, but unfortunately Microsoft doesn't sell much in the way of business solutions, it sells plumbing, so actually figuring out what to do is a struggle sometimes.

    Quotas go up but customers remain the same, so its squeezing existing customer bases for money. Audits are up and customers are not happy. High quotas mean its tough to be too much over 100%, so payouts are limited.

    Microsoft is increasingly left behind - going into a customer to talk about Windows 8 Apps and Windows Phones while everyone has an iPhone and an iPad just underscore how out of touch Microsoft got and quickly it was passed by.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus! Don't try to compete everywhere. Cut Windows Phone and focus on selling software on all platforms - Android, iOS, etc.

    Recommends
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great place to work

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

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

    Pros

    Microsoft really cares about employees, growing them and setting them up for long term success. I spent over 8 years at Microsoft, worked with some of the smartest people I have met, had a lot of independence, and the work was really fulfilling. Hours were sometimes long but rarely crazy. Pay is excellent. Benefits are among the best in software companies (I would pick top notch health care, tuition reimbursement, prime discounts and legal plans over free dry cleaning and free food any day).

    Cons

    Different divisions at the company having different perspectives can be demotivating and disappointing for both customers and employees. It is hard to influence top level strategic decisions even if you're pretty senior. If there's one thing I'd change at Microsoft, it'd be to make it a requirement for different divisions to work collaboratively.
    In spite of being a great company that has transformed the world with its products and services and contributed to so many good causes, Microsoft was never perceived to be cool when I worked there and the press and the perception can sometimes make you feel bad.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please find a way to hire excellent people to Microsoft, especially experienced candidates. The company I joined seems to do a much better job of hiring and retaining experienced candidates. At Microsoft, I saw many people with years of industry experience really struggle to fit in with people who'd spent many years at the company.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Average place. Not a place for innovation. Too much politics.

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

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

    Pros

    Work life balance. You can go through work without much effort.

    Cons

    Too much politics. Whatever happened to meritocracy.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fire all people who are not technical and into politics.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Microsoft

    • 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 full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Use of latest technology. Good perks.

    Cons

    Too big of an organization. more agile/startup mentality is needed

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Satya N. pushing for culture change. Middle management needs to change.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great compensation, fixing mistakes, in a culture where you can have a life outside work

    • 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 full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great people managers who understand how to give their employees excellent work-life balance. Challenging projects to work on that affect the lives of often tens, or even hundreds of millions of customers. Great changes in the last year to fix culture problems and crazy inefficiencies where the same thing would be built independently by different teams. A removal of leadership who led to the creation of poorly-received products. Incredible freedom to move between product groups to try new things with management that supports such moves.

    Cons

    Problematic PR which still flubs the message of otherwise-great products way too frequently, and a devices strategy that's taking way too long to produce great high-end phones. Love the Surface Pro 3 though.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep moving in the direction of the last year. Listen to JoeB. But get rid of the ridiculous amount of middle-management in OSG.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great place to work with brilliant individual contributors but less than stellar middle management

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

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

    Pros

    Everyday is a new learning at work. The people around, especially the individual contributors, are mostly very smart and there is hardly any day when you don't feel like you are not being challenged.

    Cons

    Leadership can sometimes hold you back. Too many people who have been here for a really long time are occupying positions in middle management without making much of a difference to the product/people. Many of these people are too rigid to change and are opposed to any semblance of a change. This is usually the source of slower innovation. I am however optimistic with the arrival of Satya though. He is making the right noises and backing it up with some sound decisions.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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