Microsoft Reviews

Updated September 17, 2014
Updated September 17, 2014
8,061 Reviews
3.8
8,061 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella
893 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.  

    Microsoft -- Still one of coolest places to work at but needs a major revamp

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

    I have been working at Microsoft

    Pros

    Best reason, bar none, is getting to work with/around a plethora of equally smart driven people which drives you even harder to succeed.

    Cons

    Politics/Bureaucracy especially at the middle management level is the biggest killer here, no different from most big companies. Great ideas tend to fizzle away.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Go back to your roots and encourage the startup out-of-the-box attitude that got the company where it is today. Get middle management to focus on encouraging anf rewarding this instead of covering their own behinds.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  2. 343 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. 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
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  5. 2 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
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Comfortably Uniique

    • 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 for more than 5 years

    Pros

    With the diversity in Microsoft and the ability to move across teams, disciplines and geographies is liberating. For all the hate Microsoft may get it has mostly positive, smart and understanding leaders.

    Cons

    Roles can sometimes be confusing. A program manager can end up handling too many things internally and focus very little externally. This leads to product confusion.
    Also even though its a very large company, it competes with hyper focused competitors where the leadership is crystal clear on the are and the number of people working on it may be much more.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue being open and help people understand the strategy internally. There are far too many cynical people inside the company who do not understand the strategy and this is something that is extremely harmful.

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

    20 Years at Microsoft

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

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

    Pros

    When I joined Microsoft in 1992, it was one of the most innovative companies in the world. Lots of fascinating work with very talented people who had a very strong drive for results. I was extremely well compensated with stock options, stock grants, salary and bonus. I created 8 new products and was awarded 36 patents that generated over $2 billion in verifiable incremental revenue for Microsoft.

    Cons

    Microsoft's strategy and focus were much clearer in the early 1990s. Opportunities for personal growth existed everywhere. Today there are fewer opportunities today for people who want to be major contributors. Some of this is part of becoming a larger company and reaching the end of the PC era, but much of it is risk aversion. The PC era is ending. A new era is also beginning. This is opportunity. If you want to be great you have to take chances. I am all for mitigating as much risk as possible. However, you will get the same outcome if you keep using the same old strategies.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The changing role of the PC and Windows is an opportunity to create a new and even stronger company. However, it means change. Microsoft has many valuable assets to leverage to create the next generation of Microsoft. I believe that you have the talent and opportunity. Now execute on it.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    One of the best places to work as a Software Engineer

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

    I worked at Microsoft full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    + People are insanely smart, some of them legendary.
    + There is virtually no limit in terms of learning opportunities, professional growth and career advancement.
    + Everyone gets own office!
    + Benefit is one of the best in the industry, period.

    Cons

    - Performance review used to be based on stack ranking and fixed curve.
    - Skill set may become irrelevant if not actively kept up with the industry.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    N/A

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Comfortable Working Environment and Smart Fellows

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

    I worked at Microsoft as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    Microsoft does great work not only in industry but also in academia. I'll only talk about Research part here. To do research, the first reason to be here is to work with the people. Microsoft has lots of top-notch computer scientists, and their work plays a very important role in the whole academia realm. Moreover, their researchers work seamlessly with industry as well, which makes their work benefit mankind at a much faster speed than any other institute ever.

    Cons

    Lots of information to catch up in short period for summer interns, especially in the research team. Sometimes goal is not clear.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    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
  11.  

    Program Manager

    • 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

    This job is great for career and relationship building

    Cons

    Organization is huge, so it can be difficult to manage.

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