Microsoft Reviews

Updated September 20, 2014
Updated September 20, 2014
8,106 Reviews
3.8
8,106 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella
916 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Really good work-life balance compared to other tech companies of the same caliber (in 688 reviews)

  • Tons of super smart people working for the right reasons - to make a difference (in 893 reviews)


Cons
  • And there are times when the workload may impede on your work-life balance (in 476 reviews)

  • The previous stack rank review system encourage a behavior that was very much individualist (in 369 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Microsoft, the most mature tech company to work with

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

    I worked at Microsoft

    Pros

    - The people I am working with are really smart and friendly. Everyone trusts each other and every employee is given the freedom to express their ideas and determine their approach to a problem. This also applies for interns like me. There is no seniority at Microsoft. The individual contributors, the leads, the managers, and the leadership all have their own unique roles within the company and they respect each other.
    - My manager is my best mentor. He is not a person who tells me what to do. But he is a person who tells me do what I think is the right thing to do, and if along the way I encounter problems or become frustrated, my manager is there to give me supports, both technically and mentally.
    - The work processes at Microsoft are highly structured and very well thought. Schedules are planned very far ahead in great details that the product can be released on time with a strict quality bar. The processes and the logistics of the processes are communicated really well to the employees to websites, wikis, and shared documents that are easily accessible.
    - There are tons of communication going on in the company. Each of us has instant messaging client on our machine (Office Communicator) and we chat with each other on daily basis. We also send emails like crazy, which is much better than not knowing what others are doing.
    - The salary is well beyond the average salary in regular tech companies. The salary for an intern is also well beyond my expectation.
    - Managers are required to give assessment of performance of the employees. In turn, employees are supposed to give assessment of performance of the manager. This creates a positive feedback loop in the company, and everyone learns from each other. We also review each other's code and each other's design document, in order to help each other improve.
    - We have no work hours. We only need to get done with our work, and that's it. It's up to us whether we want to work 9am-5pm, 11am-7pm, 7am-3pm, or working from home, etc. Things just have to get done.
    - We get tons of benefits and free sodas.
    - The diversity in Microsoft is amazing. Tell me one race, ethnicity, or religion, and I can always find a Microsoft employee that has the chosen characteristic. It's surprising even to me how much I feel at home at Microsoft.

    Cons

    For you who love the startup-like thrill and excitement of being able to contribute a big chunk of a product, you may not find Microsoft the perfect company to work with. In some teams that are currently developing prototypes for a cutting edge product, you may find a startup-like culture in which everyone tries to be as creative as possible and contribute as much as possible to the design of the product. However, once the design is settled and becomes more mature, it is necessary to have a well-thought, highly structured process, in order for the product to make it on time, on budget, on quality bar. Then, you may have to get involved in this highly structured process no matter what. It is good to have structure, but probably it is not for everyone.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    One thing that I would love to see is more presence of the high managers in our daily work. It would be great if the managers would give much more presentations about where the team is heading in 2-3 years, or what are the most important priorities for our customers we need to address, or other high level stuffs that are not necessarily the employees' main task items day to day, but will be highly inspiring to have. But in general, I am happy with the way it is and I like every single manager I have been working with or in contact with.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  2. 346 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 for 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  

    Stack ranking not totally gone

    • 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 for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Excellent benefits and pay. A lot of perks and discounts. Very focused on giving back, unbelievable matching program.

    Cons

    Cut throat, work-life balance sucks. Still have a system where they cut bottom employees regardless of performance and even if the market can't support hiring better quality.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great company with plenty of opportunities

    • 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 for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Vast number of projects to work on in multiple countries. Pay is consistently in the top 75% percentile. Flexible work hours. For engineers, there's a vast number of levels to grow, which is far different than competitors like Amazon. IC's can potentially earn as much as a VP with the number of levels for growth. Overall, this is a great company for career growth. Pay is 100% performance based now, and favors collaboration over politics. Stack ranking is dead!

    Cons

    Aren't going to get the free perks like you see in competitors in silicon valley, but who really cares. You will most likely make more money at Microsoft and that's more important. Still growth favors type A people. If you aren't one that guides and leads the design and has major influence, your growth and performance awards will be much slower.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Go flat org. Get rid of testers and go combined engineering role for 90% of product line. Keep the path and listen to customers. Listen to customers. Listen to customers!!!!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great place to work if you don't mind the slow pace.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior User Experience Desingner  in  San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Senior User Experience Desingner in San Francisco, CA

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

    Pros

    Microsoft cares about your work/life balance and does a great job keeping you happy.

    Cons

    Very difficult to work on a remote team. If you're outside Redmond, you bang into the ceiling very quickly.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find a balance between the engineering-led culture and the need to innovate. Leadership needs to embrace visionary ideas and bring design into the fold at the highest level.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    A constantly evolving work environment that supports continuous growth.

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

    I worked at Microsoft full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    If you ever decide you're bored with a given technology or modality you have tons of opportunities to move around and try something new.

    Cons

    This company is becoming more political each day. More and more red tape and arrogance on the part of management is slowing the wheels of innovation.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Smart People, Okay products

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

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

    Pros

    Working with smart knowledgeable is the best reason to work at Microsoft. Microsoft also has a big focus on engineering. You will learn a lot from both the people you work with and about engineering software.

    Cons

    Too much turning reports and dashboards green, and too much settling for less than best. More likely to redefine the quality bar to achieve success than to hold or change the product to meet the originally desired bug bar.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    I worked for Microsoft

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Microsoft

    Pros

    Looks good on the resume.

    Cons

    managers are a pain in the you know what

  10.  

    Passionate people working on a product they all believe will profoundly benefit the consumer

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

    I worked at Microsoft full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    I enjoyed working in an environment where everyone on the team had an immense amount of pride and dedication to the product. Very supportive management, generous salary and perks, and Microsoft has global brand recognition.

    Cons

    The stack ranking system (which is now gone). Also a necessary negative when working with any large corporation, is the amount of time required for meetings, training, and paperwork not related to the product.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Great training but employmwent is numbers driven

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Microsoft as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    informative, fun, you learn a lot

    Cons

    they exect you to spend lots of time there

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep doing what youre doing

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