Microsoft Reviews

Updated September 29, 2014
Updated September 29, 2014
8,174 Reviews
3.8
8,174 Reviews
Rating Trends

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

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Really good work-life balance compared to other tech companies of the same caliber (in 786 reviews)

  • You will get the opportunity to work with smart people solving real world problems (in 944 reviews)


Cons
  • Work life balance is not good in some places but it really depends on your role (in 511 reviews)

  • The previous stack rank review system encourage a behavior that was very much individualist (in 388 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 355 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.

  2. 6 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
  3. 3 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 for 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  

    Hard to get noticed and good if you do but not great

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

    I worked at Microsoft for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Very Good Health Insurance
    Very well recognized
    Good base salary

    Cons

    VERY hard to make a lot of money
    Strange culture
    Not a true meritocracy - much to do with perception - not always reality.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Come together to push back on silly policies that come from ill-informed top execs.
    Calibration, score card metrics, hurting people for customer service surveys that are not replied to.
    Giving ALL the sales people the Surface but not allowing them to give one to a CIO or CEO of a customer. Many sales people did not even use the Surface they were given - Let that sink in. Give them to ALL your sales folks but not to C levels at your customer or prospects.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    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

  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Corporate Reorganizations

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

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

    Pros

    Great work life balance, compensation, benefits, and potential bonus/stock based on performance.

    Cons

    Due to recent company wide reorganizations and layoffs there is big lack of job stability, questionable new leadership, and accountability in immediate management structure.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Plan ahead, do your homework on what accountability and actual structure means to all levels of the team or group. Be transparent of reviews to really reward star performers and hold management accountable on perceived "good ole boys" club mentality.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 1 person 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 for 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
  9. 4 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
  10. 4 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
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Test manager

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

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

    Pros

    Great benefits and access to tons of resources.
    Engineering teams are brilliant and fun to work with.
    Diverse set of products to work on.

    Cons

    A lot of politics, at times you don't know why the decision was made.
    Some the teams have worse corporate culture.
    The company is lethargic at times reacting to customer needs.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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