Microsoft Reviews

Updated 21 October 2014
Updated 21 October 2014
8,371 Reviews
3.8
8,371 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella
1,094 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Really good work-life balance compared to other tech companies of the same caliber (in 804 reviews)

  • You will get the opportunity to work with smart people solving real world problems (in 959 reviews)


Cons
  • Work life balance is not good in some places but it really depends on your role (in 530 reviews)

  • In the review system there is a "check box" equivalent to a rank of Underperforming (in 393 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 5 people found this helpful  

    Hard to get noticed and good if you do but not great

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales in New York, NY (US)
    Former Employee - Sales in New York, NY (US)

    I worked at Microsoft (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Very Good Health Insurance
    Very well recognized
    Good base salary

    Cons

    VERY hard to make a lot of money
    Strange culture
    Not a true meritocracy - much to do with perception - not always reality.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Come together to push back on silly policies that come from ill-informed top execs.
    Calibration, score card metrics, hurting people for customer service surveys that are not replied to.
    Giving ALL the sales people the Surface but not allowing them to give one to a CIO or CEO of a customer. Many sales people did not even use the Surface they were given - Let that sink in. Give them to ALL your sales folks but not to C levels at your customer or prospects.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great people, going through lots of change

    Current Employee - Solution Specialist
    Current Employee - Solution Specialist

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

    Pros

    There are some amazingly talented people at Microsoft and working with them is a pleasure. The sales environment is getting more high-pressure, but still nothing like what you hear from other places. They froze S-plan (sales people) base salaries and upped OTE by 8%, I believe, but the quotas are getting staggering. Everyone on my team has a quota over $10M. You can make a comfortable living and have good work-life balance.

    Cons

    A lot of transition means searching for answers. First it was Software + Services, now its Cloud First, Mobile First. There is a huge push to begin LOB selling, but unfortunately Microsoft doesn't sell much in the way of business solutions, it sells plumbing, so actually figuring out what to do is a struggle sometimes.

    Quotas go up but customers remain the same, so its squeezing existing customer bases for money. Audits are up and customers are not happy. High quotas mean its tough to be too much over 100%, so payouts are limited.

    Microsoft is increasingly left behind - going into a customer to talk about Windows 8 Apps and Windows Phones while everyone has an iPhone and an iPad just underscore how out of touch Microsoft got and quickly it was passed by.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus! Don't try to compete everywhere. Cut Windows Phone and focus on selling software on all platforms - Android, iOS, etc.

    Recommends
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great place to work

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

    I worked at Microsoft full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Microsoft really cares about employees, growing them and setting them up for long term success. I spent over 8 years at Microsoft, worked with some of the smartest people I have met, had a lot of independence, and the work was really fulfilling. Hours were sometimes long but rarely crazy. Pay is excellent. Benefits are among the best in software companies (I would pick top notch health care, tuition reimbursement, prime discounts and legal plans over free dry cleaning and free food any day).

    Cons

    Different divisions at the company having different perspectives can be demotivating and disappointing for both customers and employees. It is hard to influence top level strategic decisions even if you're pretty senior. If there's one thing I'd change at Microsoft, it'd be to make it a requirement for different divisions to work collaboratively.
    In spite of being a great company that has transformed the world with its products and services and contributed to so many good causes, Microsoft was never perceived to be cool when I worked there and the press and the perception can sometimes make you feel bad.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please find a way to hire excellent people to Microsoft, especially experienced candidates. The company I joined seems to do a much better job of hiring and retaining experienced candidates. At Microsoft, I saw many people with years of industry experience really struggle to fit in with people who'd spent many years at the company.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great compensation, fixing mistakes, in a culture where you can have a life outside work

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

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

    Pros

    Great people managers who understand how to give their employees excellent work-life balance. Challenging projects to work on that affect the lives of often tens, or even hundreds of millions of customers. Great changes in the last year to fix culture problems and crazy inefficiencies where the same thing would be built independently by different teams. A removal of leadership who led to the creation of poorly-received products. Incredible freedom to move between product groups to try new things with management that supports such moves.

    Cons

    Problematic PR which still flubs the message of otherwise-great products way too frequently, and a devices strategy that's taking way too long to produce great high-end phones. Love the Surface Pro 3 though.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep moving in the direction of the last year. Listen to JoeB. But get rid of the ridiculous amount of middle-management in OSG.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Average place. Not a place for innovation. Too much politics.

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

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

    Pros

    Work life balance. You can go through work without much effort.

    Cons

    Too much politics. Whatever happened to meritocracy.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fire all people who are not technical and into politics.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Microsoft

    • 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 full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Use of latest technology. Good perks.

    Cons

    Too big of an organization. more agile/startup mentality is needed

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Satya N. pushing for culture change. Middle management needs to change.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great place to work with brilliant individual contributors but less than stellar middle management

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

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

    Pros

    Everyday is a new learning at work. The people around, especially the individual contributors, are mostly very smart and there is hardly any day when you don't feel like you are not being challenged.

    Cons

    Leadership can sometimes hold you back. Too many people who have been here for a really long time are occupying positions in middle management without making much of a difference to the product/people. Many of these people are too rigid to change and are opposed to any semblance of a change. This is usually the source of slower innovation. I am however optimistic with the arrival of Satya though. He is making the right noises and backing it up with some sound decisions.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great Company

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Microsoft

    Pros

    The pay and benefits are great.

    Cons

    Work life balance can be very bad.

  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Microsoft is a great company to work for with a lot of excellent engineers

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Lead Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET) in Bellevue, WA (US)
    Former Employee - Lead Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET) in Bellevue, WA (US)

    I worked at Microsoft full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    The benefits have been watered down from what they used to be, but still are very good. The deductible at the beginning of the year is high, but MS contributes and I've never had a problem finding a doctor that's part of the system. The company culture varies from division to division, but generally its supportive and cooperative. There are cases where people were promoted that I didn't feel should have been, but they were fairly rare so by in large, promotions were earned and justified. Even more rare were the cases where someone should have been promoted and wasn't. When I was promoted, the benefits were good, generally a 3-5% salary increase (+ merit on top of that), 15%+ bonus (depending on level), and equity shares. As for people, I worked with a lot of different teams and I didn't get along with everybody, but I always felt the vast majority of people were very smart and talented.

    Cons

    A big problem toward the end of my tenure at MS was process and compartmentalization. I'm sure this is a problem with a lot of large companies, but I felt over the years that different groups were spun off to tackle different problems during the shipping of Windows. This sounds good, but in practice it leads to conflicting priorities between groups with the focus less and less on the end goal of shipping a quality, innovative product. For example early on in Windows, test and dev teams owned their own test labs and machines. Now its set up such that there is a lab team and an execution team and their priorities are to keep the lab clean and machines busy, which isn't always the best thing for the dev/test teams trying to ship a product.

    Also, another thing to watch out for is competition. MS competitive review model can lead to grandstanding and throwing people under the bus for the sake of ones own review. Some competition is good, but not when it leads to these negative results, which I have seen.

    Last I would say is honesty of execs. Because of the layoffs and the way they were handled by execs, the morale of the Windows group is pretty low. Some of the recent confusing directives from Windows execs on what exactly is the job function of a SDE and SDET and the constant reorgs are taking a toll.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be honest with your employees and clean up the conflicting priorities. Everybody for each product should have one goal in mind and be clear on how that goal impacts the companies bottom line. Get rid of the SLA's between groups working on the same product; just do what it takes!

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Performance Review

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Microsoft

    Pros

    Moving to a twice a year stock award

    Cons

    New performance review is even more subjective than stack rank system

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