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Microsoft Reviews

Updated April 26, 2017
15,048 reviews

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3.9
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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella
5,202 Ratings

15,048 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • work life balance is a bit of an issue (in 987 reviews)

  • Review system was not the greatest (in 510 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (8)

    "If you are thinking about MS - think again."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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 (8)

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

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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 (1)

    "Microsoft-The cure for what sales you"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Manager in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Sales Manager in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Benefits, probably the best in the industry

    Cons

    Not at all a sales environment. The opportunity to really sell does not exist, as the comp plans, managemnet, and company orientation are all mired in the mid-80's 80's belief that the stock price will grow and split over and over.

    The stock hasn't split in 8 years, and like many technology firms, has sat at roughly 1/3 of it's bubble peak. But unlike other companies, Microsoft believes that they do not have to face this reality. Accordingly, it hires, retains and promotes a sales culture that doesn't sell, but visits. There is no relationship between activity and closing business in the competitive server space, and worse, if you try to sell into that space, you are vilified by the "resting and vesting" culture.

    Advice to Management

    Wake up! With your dominant position in desktop you could dominate server software if you would get rid of slaes managers who can't sell and only play politics.


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  5. Helpful (4)

    "Post-BillG Microsoft is great employment - for HR and Lawyers"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Lead+ Program Manager in Redmond, WA
    Former Employee - Lead+ Program Manager in Redmond, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Microsoft is the new government job with better pay, better benefits, nicer offices, free starbucks coffee, flexible hours and fewer hours overall ... as long as you don't actually want to build software that serves a purpose, or make it work for customers. If you really just don't care about software or customers, this is the software company for you.

    Microsoft today is an exercise in political correctness run amok, with leaders desperate for approval and well-sold (note I did not say GOOD) ideas and happy to throw money at them. If you understand that kind of environment and want to either run at the new-style Brass Ring or simply surf along the edges - this is the company for you. Go for it. If you can sell it, Ballmer will buy it. (If you need a primer, buy a copy of "Big Blues, the unmaking of IBM".)

    Now, if you are a marketer and believe that actually building product is "someone else's problem" then this is absolutely the right place for you. Because Mr. Ballmer and all of his directs - believe the same thing. (unfortunately all the "someone else's" left with Bill). It's also a fantastic place for HR and PR, with it's high turnover and need to pretend to be an upscale software company and a great place for technical people to work, and nirvana for corporate lawyers. Check out the close links between Microsoft and Odell Guyton - the lawyer trying hardest to make "ethics" mean "legal compliance". (ie, if you're not actually breaking a law - right now, exactly - it must be ethical, right?)

    To recap, MS is a great place for anyone in the business of PRETENDING to build software. Sad but true.

    Cons

    What? You actually have to build the things you advertise and make them work?

    If you're a technologist and can't get hired directly into a research group - you really don't want to work for Microsoft today. Microsoft has suffered horribly since Ballmer took over. He's a marketer. He was always the guy who'd come stomping down the hallway going "I WANT WHAT I WANT". We'd explain that the products couldn't actually do that and the reaction would be along the lines of "AND WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH ANYTHING?" If it was important, we'd take the technical facts to Bill, and Bill would intervene and shut him down. It was a decent balance of power. Ballmer's drive to do the impossible would get Bill to do things he wasn't inclined to do, but only if they were POSSIBLE. Yes, there was a time when I loved Microsoft and worked with great enthusiasm in that niche of the "not technically impossible". I did a lot of risky things knowing that I could always count on Bill to rein things in when I could prove they weren't technically possible, or so difficult they simply weren't practical.

    But Bill is gone now. Since taking over, Ballmer has promoted other similarly-minded marketers around him, so now he's completely cocooned in layers of marketing fluff with absolutely no basis in reality. He doesn't know the difference between an actual product and a picture of a product. And just to improve the whole customer-focus and employee-focus thing - he's imported old IBM (Kevin Johson) and legacy Wal-Mart (Kevin Turner).

    The company used to be better and simpler. Everything asking for millions of $$ went in front of Bill, who would look skeptically at everything at a technical level and go "um, I don't understand how this actually gets built at all, never mind on time or on budget. SHOW ME. CONVINCE ME." People dreaded Bill's reviews but he weeded out the crap and he fired the liers. Ballmer's a marketer. He believes the crap and promotes the liers.

    After 8 years of Ballmer, you get Vista, Office 7, and Yukon (SQL2005) ... a suite of products that took 5-6 YEARS to release and on seeing them, users are waiting for the next releases on the feeble hope that they'll be better.

    If you recognize this environment and you know how to manipulate it - you'll be in your element. But if you wanted to build software or do something positive, look elsewhere.

    Advice to Management

    Bring back the harsh technology reviews (and the people who could do them). Let the managers and marketers lie. Then take every $$ they put on their slides and put it through review, and just fire the people who clearly didn't even try. You can start with the people who didn't even hire staff for projects they never intended to even start. Yes, it's that bad.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Steve B.'s time has come and past."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Where do you want to go today with your "passion"?"

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

    Pros

    I really enjoyed the opportunity to work for a company that has all the technological tools needed to do my job.

    Cons

    Sad to say, but management really has no idea of what their possitions are for. All that they care is about to protect their paychecks and be in good standing with Human Resoruses, wich is a department that, as the employee does not sings their checks, the "HR" department will team up with management to ensure that employees that have an opinion are silenced "legally"

    Advice to Management

    Senior management needs to bring the passion for their jobs, the passion for technology, the passion that made this company a great company, the passion that is lost or replaced by the passion for promotions, wasteful spending, higher commision, lack of accountability, and lack of vission.


  8. Helpful (5)

    "Future 'Softies Beware!"

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

    Pros

    Great brand name. A big place to work, so there are always lots of different opportunities and groups you can work for. Nice lifestyle in Seattle. It's a 9-to-5 kind of engagement so the work/life balance is great.

    Cons

    The culture and the people. There are a LOT of a**holes working there. Management just doesn't care about people, they just care about their own careers. No one wants to deliver "bad news", so real problems never get fixed. There's a ton of politics and in-fighting. Hard to get anything done.

    And, oh, yeah, the company just doesn't "get" this little thing called internet.

    Advice to Management

    Take your stock options and your millions and go somewhere else. You're just blocking people who want to do a good job and care for the company.


  9. Helpful (5)

    "Find a more rewarding job else where if you can"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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.


  10. Helpful (6)

    "Hand the keys over to the kids...."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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.


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Maybe some profit sharing?"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Manager in Kansas City, MO
    Former Employee - Account Manager in Kansas City, MO
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Yeah i think this company is pretty cool. But I also think hot dogs are cool too. However, Microsoft is a huge company and its cool to tell girls at bars that you work there. They think that you are made of millions!

    Cons

    I worked with a bunch of nerds and there were no attractive people in sight. They should also have some sort of incentivized pay structure, like base plus commission upon review of quality of work done. I also think that CEO's salaries should be based on performance as well. Give us some sort of profit sharing man!

    Advice to Management

    I think that profit sharing should be an option


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