Microsoft
3.6 of 5 7,013 reviews
www.microsoft.com Redmond, WA 5000+ Employees

Microsoft Reviews

Updated Apr 13, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.6 7,013 reviews

                             

84% Approve of the CEO

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Satya Nadella

(268 ratings)

77% of employees recommend this company to a friend
7,013 Employee Reviews
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Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "Good work/life balance, if you are in the right division or have the right manager"
    in 563 reviews
  • "Some smart people in pockets but not many of them great at politics so marginalized"
    in 794 reviews
Cons:
  • "No work-life balance, stack ranking review process brought unfairness to some"
    in 409 reviews
  • "Tiered review system (which is changing this year but haven't experienced it yet)"
    in 352 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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Stable, safe place to work - pity about the middle management bickering and senior management lack of imagination

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Sydney

I have been working at Microsoft

ProsVery stable work environment where you can find a niche and develop over a long period. The level of stress and intensity of work can to some extent be as high or low as you personally choose.

ConsPoor senior management and a middle management that constantly infights, jockeys for position and bickers. Part of your job as a non-manager is to avoid being tangled in this infighting.

Advice to Senior ManagementGet over yourselves. Stop making kneejerk reactions to competitive fads - instead focus on delighting customers, innovation and real investment in customer success. Ballmer is no strategic leader - he's a sales leader and without Gates is unable to articulate a vision for the future of Microsoft.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Great place to work under the right team

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Sydney

I worked at Microsoft

Prosgreat pay and benefits and depending on the team, hours

Conseasy to get lost in the sea of people

Advice to Senior Managementmake sure to keep the community and camaraderie in teams

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Awesome Place to Work!

Enterprise Account Manager (Current Employee)
North Sydney

I have been working at Microsoft

ProsGreat benefits, definite growth potential, and the people are second to none. I've made a lot of lifelong friends here. It was one of the best experiences I've had yet!

ConsDue to the sheer size of Microsoft there is a bit of bureaucracy you have to negotiate, however things do get accomplished and change does happen just a bit slower than most would like. Other than that it’s a hell of a place to work! Two thumbs up!

Advice to Senior ManagementKeep up the good work!

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Very political place to work

Account Manager (Former Employee)
Sydney

I worked at Microsoft

ProsMicrosoft Australia in 2006-2007 had some great opportunity for making money, as it was an emerging market that hadn't been tapped at all. Customers were just glad they had someone to talk to. Really enjoyed the customers I worked with and built relationships with.

ConsMost of sales management had no experience in actually selling and had just been promoted from another group to run sales. I found my manager to be more of a hinderance in the sales cycel rather than an asset. Sales managers spend their time crunching numbers and manipulating spreadsheets and don't actually spend any time in the field selling or helping their reps.

Advice to Senior ManagementHire some people from outside Microsoft to be in management. Continuing to hire people from within just perpetuates an already incestuous environment.

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The best and the worst place to work

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Microsoft

ProsAccess to a lot of information and good knowledge sharing - you can learn a lot and develop yourself. You also get to work with a lot of smart and diverse people.

ConsProbably the most selfish place to work - backstabbing, politics, and everyone climbing over each other to stand out from the rest. The company is bloated, with too many managers, so you know the competition is fierce. You are not rewarded for performance but for how you play the politics. For such a "stand out" company they are incredibly disfunctional and inefficient - it is little wonder the software is bloated and troublesome - it is a direct reflection of the organisation.

Advice to Senior ManagementAbout 50% of the management, at all levels, should quit. Stand aside and allow more competent people to take on the challenges. And if you do decide to stay - get rid of the empire building, remove the barriers to allowing groups to work effectively with each other.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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269 people found this helpful  

Thoughts after 10 years....

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Redmond, WA (US)

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

Pros1. 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.

ConsBrand 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 Senior ManagementI'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.

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3 people found this helpful  

An innovative and employee friendly company!

Usability/Playtest Coordinator (Former Employee)
Redmond, WA (US)

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

ProsEmployees are given the freedom to grow and learn more skills as well as advance in their career. Microsoft is always on the cutting edge of technology so the work environment is constantly changing to accommodate growth. It was a privilege and an honor to have the opportunity to work for such a highly regarded company.

ConsThere are so many others competing for the chance to work at Microsoft, it is more difficult to find permanent employment there.

Advice to Senior ManagementPerhaps, consider contract employees who go above and beyond job requirements to show their dedication to their job and the best interest of the company.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Awesome career experience

Senior Software Development Engineer In Test Lead (Current Employee)
Seattle, WA (US)

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

ProsVery impactful to global software and impacting everyone in the world in software that you've made and design and sell. It really allows you to do your great work if you are ambitious and if you are creative. Also, it is not limited to doing the traditional test work that testers are supposed to do. You are only limited by your imagination.

ConsLarge company is complex and you need to navigate your way through. You are only limited by your imagination. It really takes time to build trust and establish credential. It may take some time and effort for multiple people to appreciate your work. So you need to be self motivated. If not, you may not make it. You need to believe in yourself at times.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Challenging, fun, great people

Program Manager (Current Employee)
Redmond, WA (US)

I have been working at Microsoft full-time for more than 8 years

ProsVariety of technologies and products to work on, benefits, quality of employees

Conssize, cross-group coordination, agility and time to market

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Good benefits... bad HR

Program Manager II (Former Employee)
Redmond, WA (US)

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

ProsThe company has a lot of smart people
Good products
Good exposure to technology that is used by millions

ConsVery type A and self absorbed organization
Stack ranking in HR is really a de-motivator
Products developed are still not designed with the end user in mind - they cater to the Engineers that develop the products, SI. Admins, IT staff ...not the end user

Advice to Senior ManagementAdd more diversity of personality types not just nationalities

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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