Microsoft Reviews

Updated September 2, 2015
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3.9
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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella
1,619 Ratings

Pros
  • Work-life balance is what you make it; always been fine for me (in 859 reviews)

  • You will work with some incredibly smart people (in 991 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance can be very bad (in 552 reviews)

  • The performance review system is broken (in 400 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

7,022 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (3)

    If you are thinking about MS - think again.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Architect in Redmond, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Architect in Redmond, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Once upon a time it was a company that encouraged people to think outside the box. This spirit drove the company to it's high level. During that time we as a company acted as one company, with all groups pulling together into a single unit. In the past the compensation was an exceptional piece of what made it fun to work at Microsoft. However at the same time the ability to influence products, change the direction of MS Services and contribute to making customers better was a critical factor in the "fun" of working at Microsoft. Sadly that is no longer the case.

    Cons

    It is now a big company - and the pay hasn't really grown as fast as the orgizational profits. Its sad that the joy of working at Microsoft is now gone. I've been with the company more than 10 years and during that time have watched the fun factor drip out of my job. During that time i have held three or four other positions within the company. In every case the reality of where we are is consistent. Our field teams don't communicate as well as they should. Our corporate teams don't communcate as well as they should. Sad, all the way around.

    Advice to Management

    Time to go back to the "Old Microsoft"


  2. Helpful (5)

    Only good for parents' bumper stickers "My child works for Microsoft"

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Operations Engineer in Redmond, WA
    Current Employee - Operations Engineer in Redmond, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Microsoft is this world's largest software development company, this looks good to future employeers. Employees receive discounts when purchasing normally overpriced software.

    Cons

    You have to pay for food and snacks. Not a comfortable work environment, they discourage peaceful and collaborative working. They do not promote based on quality of work instead they promote based on popularity and their review system. Hard work is NEVER rewarded here, instead employees are promoted when they do less work and leave early. At Microsoft, if one person in management, regardless of their direct connection to you, doesn't like you, your next review will be damaged. I've received only one 0.5% raise in nearly 5 years of service. Microsoft has horrible retention of long term employees. Management is free to ridicule employees. They 'claim' raises and promotions can happen any time but I have never seen anyone recieve a promotion or raise outside of once a year.

    Advice to Management

    Pay attention to the survey feedback provided by employees, not just the management feedback. Attempt to correct salary and level mistakes as soon as possible. I have seen many highly talented people leave Microsoft after a couple years because Microsoft fails to appreciate employees.


  3. Helpful (3)

    Steve B.'s time has come and past.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Account Technology Specialist (ATS) in Waltham, MA
    Current Employee - Account Technology Specialist (ATS) in Waltham, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The health plan is great

    Cons

    We're amoral and cheat our employees and customers. People in Redmond are some of the most arrogant people on the planet.

    Advice to Management

    Blow up Redmond. Stop thinking we're smarter than we are. Talk to the outside world and listen to the responses.


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  5. Helpful (3)

    Find a more rewarding job else where if you can

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Operations Engineer in Mountain View, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Operations Engineer in Mountain View, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    If you don’t mind to work at a place with bureaucracy, average paying, above average benefits, mind numbing task, very political manager, then this is the place for you.

    Cons

    At msft you can be easily pigeonhole to a single element of a particular task. All the managers are constantly position themselves to be on top of others. Most don’t care about the people doing the real engineering work. From the stock price for the last 8 years, people can see what Wall Street is thinking about msft.

    Advice to Management

    I couldn’t understand why we (msft) need 3 to 5 managers to manage a project. You can hire 5 to 9 engineers with the salary you are paying for all the Project managers, product managers, program managers, and managers. Another problem here is why every 5 to 8 people need a manger to manage them. If you don’t trust the engineers you hired, why do you even hire them? Bottom line less mangers, less PM, less number of levels from engineer doing real work to CEO and more engineers.


  6. Helpful (2)

    Hand the keys over to the kids....

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Business Development Director in Redmond, WA
    Current Employee - Business Development Director in Redmond, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Build a wide variety of skills Pays the bill

    Cons

    Inept Management Nepitism amongst senior leaders The talent pool has been massively diluted over the years Decision makers are often completely ignorant of the market, especially in the web space

    Advice to Management

    Hand the keys over to the kids.... I joined the company in 96. It was the most dynamic, exciting place in the industry. People Cared. they cared about the stock, about wastage, inefficiency, creating world class software, the stock price the travel budgets, they cared about a lot of things. Today, nobody cares. It's a day job. They check in, they check out. No cars in the car park in the evenings and weekends. No buzz in the corridors as we anticiapte a new major ship. No accountability. No rhyme or reason on promotions. It's the end of the empire and I'm on my way out.


  7. Helpful (1)

    A good paycheck for selling your soul to corporate america

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Product Planner in Redmond, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Product Planner in Redmond, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Microsoft is so broad and encourages job switching so it provides a lot of opportunities to find new and interesting things to do. The benefits are great and the pay is not bad.

    Cons

    Extremely political, even compared to other F500 tech companies I've worked for. I haven't seen a lot of strong teams, just individuals trying to be super-star brown-nosers, but each group is probably different.

    Advice to Management

    Investigate tools and processes that might help managers to better understand the value/impact that employees are making beyond just the things they brown nose about. Encourage more teaming - and review how the current rewards system might impact teamwork.


  8. Come join us - And spoil your career

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Program Manager in Redmond, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Program Manager in Redmond, WA
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    1: If you are laid back person and don't have any career ambitions in terms of growth, working on latest technology etc. then this is the place for you to work. 2: There is no vision in this group so you will not be asked to do any challenging task :). 3: Though working for this group does not add any value to your skills but you will still get the Microsoft tag in your back. 4: Life is cool as there is hardly any work :) 5: You get good benefits i.e. medical insurance etc.

    Cons

    1: You will work with most in-competent management. 2: You will not be promoted or get a good raise unless you know someone in the group. So basically there is nothing called "fair review". 3: Product group or all other groups always treat you as a second class citizen so basically "no respect". When I using word "no respect" means no respect. 4: After working couple of years in GFS, your resume will not be entertained in other groups within Microsoft as you will be marked as "In-Competent". So you will see people here who spent their entire life i.e. 8-10 years. It does not mean that they love the group or have vital knowledge about the system but it means that they know very well that if they moved out of the group, they will be on the road.

    Advice to Management

    We need some leaders in this group who can get rid of incompetent management. Starting from Directors onwards, no one has a clue what are they doing. They are spending well earned Microsoft money foolishly. At least have one vision and stick to it for couple of year. You guys make commitment every year and don't even look back how much did we achieve last year. Interesting fact is that - we acheived only "0%" commitments that we set last year. Better utilize your resources. Hire right people - but lately it is so happening that the people from other groups who were non-performer come and join us and make it more dirty. Some guys who were hired from outside, ran away because they could not deal with this place and buddy-buddy management. Break those barrier where all friends report to each other and spend microsoft money in the expansive moral events. Just stop it and try to bring this group back on track.


  9. Helpful (4)

    A company drunk on money that sees us as numbers; but there are pockets with good coworkers

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET) in Redmond, WA
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET) in Redmond, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The people are extremely smart, motivated and fun to work with.

    Cons

    The company is not truly invested in growing employees to be what they want. Rather, they want to grow us to be more efficient where we currently are. For example, there is a long dry gulch between the the SDET and SDE roles. Even though some people have made the transition successfully, there is active discouragement by test leadership when attempting to make this transition. The company is lost trying to make money and has become scared to do anything innovative. The coolest products are handcuffed to profitability expectations before the idea is even baked, causing the best ideas to never bubble to the top. Since there is such a high technical bar, incompetence moves into leaderships to survive, which leads to the laziest workers in the middle. The review process is a joke, can you say bell curve?

    Advice to Management

    Ballmer is running the company in to the ground. The .com bubble was recovered from, but the MS stock never rebounded and I hold him responsible.


  10. Helpful (29)

    Ballmer and his Microcannibals must go!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Redmond, WA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Redmond, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Love the healthecare insurance, ride share, health club, legal, and other perks such as reimbursement offered for those really late nights on campus that last beyond public transportation. I have had to take a cab home a couple of times at 2:00am and was reimbursed 100%. I also like the speaker series that are very educational. There are eduacational reimbursment benefits as well but overal they are pretty light at 7K a year I think for an approved program at a local university and not sure how far 7K would go at the university of washington but it is something.

    Cons

    The secret society that exists between those that have been at Microsoft the longest. It is a tough click to crack. There is no clear roadmap to parnter and I honestly do not know of anyone from the outside that makes it from entry level now days to partner. There are far too many people in line that have been at microsoft forever what are waiting for those spots. And, the comp model does not promote teamwork. Instead it promotes hundereds of redundant teams, roles, and products all competing against eachother to the finish line. There is little rationalle behind who wins. It is a subjective process that looks objecive on paper but often the paper reviews actually do not match the true work that is delivered. Those who are new to the culture or are from the outside really get taken advantage of by the old timers. They speak two different languages and the old timers expect you to adapt or leave and sometimes adapting to their ways lacks business ethics. I personally have been asked on more than one occassion to do things like "fudge the numbers, make it up, etc" and when refused to do so diplomatically and carefully was then demoted and given a poor perforamnce reveiw despite winning several awards throughout the year that were an obvious contrast to what was in my review. One of the awards in fact was for Engineering Excellence for what of the best projects of the year awarded by Bill Gates so it was intersting to receive my fourth award that year and then on my review be told that I was in the bottom 10%. Previously to that year under other managers, I was always in the top 10% and on steve's "One to Watch List." Yup, there is a list - I'll bet a lot of you softy's did not know that. Things like this though happen all the time, you hear it everywhere and things never seem to change. Worse for wear thought is that if you take something like this to HR, they really have not ability to do anything except for an investigation that can make the indivudal emploee look bad, the repercussions cintinue against the employee and HR and the GM's with poor ethics continue on. In the end, I will leave due to the poor business ethics I have seen here as that is the beginning of the end for microsft when at this size and scale they have lost complete control og the emplyees, sr managers, and HR.

    Advice to Management

    I'll be looking at you through the other side of the google glass but will not ask the technology gods to give you mercy as you do not deserve it.


  11. Helpful (10)

    Microsoft Enron Looms beneath the lid.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IT Marketing in Redmond, WA
    Current Employee - IT Marketing in Redmond, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    If you like the rainy pacific North West and want the best Health Care Insurance you can get, then Microsoft brings it home.

    Cons

    True to everything you hear about the arrogance of the employees, they are some of the nastiest people you could ever want to spend a 14+ hour day with. And you will be spending 14 hour days and beyond. Work Life Balance is non-existent if you want to move up because the compensation drives extreme competitiveness of the individual. Face time is also important as it is a popularity contest more than it is about talent or getting real work done. Those that spend the most time on their personal campaigns are those that move up the fastest while the real work is carried on that backs of those with real talent that are usually hidden away in a closet somewhere and if they try to come out or get credit for the work they've done, management and HR have all kinds of interesting excuses as to why that can't happen and it usually falls to words like "Perception, Lack of Communication Abilities, Don't understand the culture' and on and on." These are canned excuses usually used for the population of new people that come in and this becomes recurring feedback to this group for about a five year period until they get tired and leave. This is a brilliant strategy for the old guard as they never have to change anything and simply collect the rewards from the work of others. With that, promotions are subjective and often given to those who agree to play and protect this process. Given that, there are thousands of people every day spinning and grinding their wheels on the path to nowhere. Of 4 Fortune five hundred companies I have worked at in my career, I experenced the worst case of poor business ethics, lack of accountability, to some degree criminal behavior and or intent that HR refuses to deal with as instead they are hunting down the "communication and perception" issues launched by countless old guard managers to hold people down. THree times I brought forward to my GM's ehtical issues and their response were the same which were "were I you I would drop this line of conversation and just get along." This spanned from the Quality Department to the Finance Department. HR protected the GM's so ultimately I left the company as I did not want to be engaged in Enron Type practices. Turnover of new employees is really high and HR does not care. They only focus on Partner Level and above for retention and development - all else is expendable and not really that great of a concern.

    Advice to Management

    Your days are #'d, this can't continue and is text book IBM. Microsoft is now past the 75% mark for that story and you know what happened in the last chapter. Get ready.



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