Microsoft Reviews

Updated 28 August 2014
Updated 28 August 2014
7,973 Reviews

3.8
7,973 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella
810 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

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Really solid place to work!

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

    I worked at Microsoft full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Fair work life balance.
    Great benefits and compensation.
    Office culture is healthy and usually fun.
    The Connector bus!
    Free bus pass!
    Environmentally conscience

    Cons

    Big company means plenty of red tape.
    Poor job of sharing, distributing and presenting good BI to employees. Hard to measure one's impact.
    Not metrics driven (or not enough)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Moving in the right direction

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Content Publishing Manager  in  Redmond, WA (US)
    Current Employee - Senior Content Publishing Manager in Redmond, WA (US)

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

    Pros

    Pay is excellent. Work-life balance is what you make it; always been fine for me. Benefits quite good, but medical not as good as it used to be. Culture varies from group to group; my current group is excellent.

    Cons

    The company doesn't have quite the creative edge it once did. Sometimes it blunders big, yet manages to survive because of its sheer size and wealth. Management above a certain level tends to lose sight of reality, so can end up doing the wrong thing, like laying off and rewarding the wrong people.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep driving the culture shift. Make the things Nadella says show up as truth for the ground troops, not just rhetoric from the CEO.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Challenging, broad

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Principal Software Design Engineer  in  Redmond, WA (US)
    Current Employee - Principal Software Design Engineer in Redmond, WA (US)

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

    Pros

    There are two things about Microsoft that make it top notch for software engineering.

    The first is the focus on the business. This may seem counterintuitive but the business focus is an excellent lens through which to look at software design and execution. I previously worked at a company which was arguably a better engineering company but the lack of business focus led to software projects not having longevity and ultimately to the collapse of the company.

    The second is the people. It's said that if you are a jazz musician and you're the best in your band, you need to change bands. There is very little danger of topping out in Microsoft. There are always excellent skilled engineers to challenge you.

    Cons

    Microsoft leadership stalled for a decade or so where more focus was paid to just business rather than a balance of business and engineering. The top echelons of compensation are epic; competition is fierce and winning is defined by profitability which has led to thinning of the product herd to only the most obviously profitable (or necessary) investments. Satya's leadership has hope of changing this but when you see references to Microsoft's environment being "toxic" this is the root cause with the old stack ranking system in a supporting role.

    Work life balance is clearly your problem. If you are ambitious and/or energetic there is always benefit to trading the work/life balance for work but it can eat you alive. Do not look for your organization to guard your own work/life balance, it's up to you (as it should be but be cautioned).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop the focus on profit even if it has negative ramifications on stock price. Use a lower stock price to reacquire ownership of the company in a stock buy back. The competition is growth and share focused, not profit focused.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    SDE II

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer (SDE) II  in  Redmond, WA (US)
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer (SDE) II in Redmond, WA (US)

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Microsoft cares for you and wants you to be successful

    Cons

    Sometimes your peers are better at doing politics vs programming which is unfortunate but I guess any place with this many number of people is bound to have this.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Top heavy but an amazing company to work for

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Optical Engineer  in  Redmond, WA (US)
    Current Employee - Optical Engineer in Redmond, WA (US)

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Flexibility in your schedule is simply amazing. Great pay and benefits. There are opportunities to take your career to any direction you desire.

    Cons

    way too many managers and poor communication

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    flatten organization. Promote communication between groups

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Love working here

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Customer Success Manager  in  Bellevue, WA (US)
    Current Employee - Customer Success Manager in Bellevue, WA (US)

    I have been working at Microsoft as a contractor for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Great opportunities to hold a satisfying job that also provides a very comfortable living. Dependent upon the role you have it can be very dynamic and always present new challenges, allowing growth in your work. The number of creative and intelligent people who are very active outside of work is another plus. The company, management and coworkers are extremely supportive of outside interests people have and it offers a very hands-off approach to your work, allowing you to get projects done without someone peering over your shoulder. Cross-team and organizational collaboration is very common and helps in networking and simply maintaining a social environment.

    Cons

    Most teams offer little training to the role itself and it is often your fellow colleagues who will provide the most help getting you onboarded. Can be easy to get pigeon holed into a role so there are times when you may need to take a chance to break out and expand your skill sets to advance. Even so, self-improvement is very much supported here.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    To upper management - give more support to your lower level managers so they have more time for their employees. Managers and workers alike are stretched too thin to fully support our projects and customer. Align divisions better so collaboration increases. Too often one division will make a change that adversely affects another, and while they want competition, collaboration is also a form of motivation and creativity.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Exhilarating

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Solution Specialist  in  Munich (Germany)
    Current Employee - Solution Specialist in Munich (Germany)

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Great company, Multiple growth options, Company Car Policy, Cross-cultural, Values team work and collaboration

    Cons

    Work-life balance, Travel, Takes time to nurture relationships and influence growth

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Many amazing growth opportunities

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Human Resources Manager  in  Redmond, WA (US)
    Current Employee - Human Resources Manager in Redmond, WA (US)

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

    Pros

    At Microsoft you're expected to be a self-starter and in charge of directing your own career. You drive you career as aggressively or slow-paced as you prefer. Work-life balance does exists, but it really depends again on how aggressively you want to drive your career here. If you have a great idea, you are encouraged to pursue it. Management is supportive of coming up with new and creative ways of doing this. People managers are more like coaches than "bosses" and generally follow sound management principles.

    If you can "navigate" in this matrixed organization and can deal with not having all the answers but still being expected to try you best to come up with a solution then you will be happy here!

    The people here are brilliant. Super smart and really friendly. They are genuinely interested in helping you move your career forward and will help you in any way that they can. You can easily find mentors and make connections here.

    The Benefits are great! Free gym membership, premium healthcare insurance, and a lot more.

    Cons

    Not for the feint of heart. Microsoft is increasingly complex and you have to be able to put all the pieces together and understand how you fit into the grand scheme of things. Sometimes you really can feel you're not even a "blip" on the radar here. It's really important to build a good network if you want visibility and a good promotional trajectory.

    Promotional velocity can be a bit slow with too much of a focus on the dreaded "length in level". On the other hand, people get promoted to very senior positions without the role necessarily requiring it as a means to retain that person. Usually this doesn't end well.

    Unstable Organizations- with so many merging and splitting and reconfiguring of teams and structures one can feel as though stability is lacking.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    While experience counts, you have to also recognize that you have brilliant talent here, many of whom have a high intellectual capacity and are able to grow and scale quickly. Many could be start-up entrepreneurs down in Silicon Valley. It's important to not have earlier-in-career talent feel stuck.

    Continue to focus on building simplicity into everything you do: from how you structure your organizations, to how you stratify your management team, to how you align support resources, etc. It's so easy to over-complicate things and even if finding the easiest way to do things means not doing everything, it's fine.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Overall amazing experience, perfect internship!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer

    I have been working at Microsoft as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    One of my favorite parts about Microsoft is the amazing work/life balance. At work, all of the people in the office really encouraged me to grow and learn as much as possible. I had the chance to pick my own summer project and was challenged the right amount. They also plan tons of cool events for interns which made the experience even better, especially the signature event!

    Cons

    Pretty standard office environment, I was lucky to work in a revamped open workspace, but some buildings still have closed off office format which doesn't work well for everyone.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    So far so good.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Support Escalation Engineer  in  Charlotte, NC (US)
    Current Employee - Support Escalation Engineer in Charlotte, NC (US)

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

    Pros

    Good pay, good benefits, challenging, not boring. Potential to have lots of impact.

    Cons

    Lots of hard work, long weeks, long hours.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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