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Summary of any and all perks when working with Microsoft.

##Perks of Microsoft


####Health and Wellness Care

  • Medical and hospitalization: Two choices for medical insurance. Both with no premium but different deductibles.
    • The two choices on medical plans are a high-deductible health plan (Microsoft puts a chunk of money into the Health Savings Account for you, which covers most of the deductible) and an HMO.
    • With the HMO, you pay basically nothing as long as you only go to Group Health doctors. With the high-deductible plan, you're covered under the local Blue Cross provider which means you can go to just about any doctor in the country. For the high deductible plan (which is what I took), you have a deductible of $1500, but Microsoft gives you $1000 to cover most of it. You can also contribute some additional money tax free to a Health Savings Account, which rolls over from year to year. So if you don't have a lot of medical problems, the HSA is basically free money for when you do. Neither plan charges you anything for preventative care (annual physical, vaccines, and so on)
  • Vision Care: One annual eye exam and reimbursement for one pair of glasses or contacts per calendar year.
  • Dental care: Choose between a basic plan or a plan that covers more -- including orthodontic services.
    • Dental plans are pretty much the same, except plus costs you a few dollars extra and in return, you only have to pay 15% of the cost of dental procedures instead of 30% (or something like that- I'm doing this off the top of my head).
  • Physician house calls. Yes, that's right. In the Seattle area, doctors can come to you, 24 hours a day.
  • 24-hour health line. Receive useful, easy-to-understand information 24x7 to help you make sound healthcare decisions.
  • Free on-campus health screenings and flu shots. Taking care of yourself is as easy as picking up lunch with our on-site Living Well Health Center.
  • Other things:
    • life insurance
    • disability insurance, accidental death and dismemberment insurance
    • group legal coverage
    • dependent and healthcare flexible spending accounts
    • weight management programs
    • office ergonomics support (desks that adjust for a sitting or standing position)

####Savings and Investments

  • 401(k) plan. We match 50 cents on every dollar you defer pre-tax up to a pre-tax contribution rate of 6 percent for a maximum matching contribution of 3 percent of your eligible compensation. You can also contribute up to 7 percent of your eligible compensation on an after-tax basis.
    • TL;DR: 401(k) match for 50% up to 6% of your salary.
  • Employee stock purchase plan. Each quarter, we can purchase Microsoft stock at a 10% discount off the market price during a defined purchase period.
    • The 10% off on the stock is an Employee Stock Purchase Plan. They take some money out of each paycheck and buy it at the end of the quarter for 10% under the value of the stock when the market closes that day.
  • Goal planner investment program. Save money from your after-tax (net) pay for anticipated future expenses. Benefit from your own personal discount brokerage account, direct investment deposits through payroll deduction and financial planning tools.

####Training and Development

  • Internal resources such as technical, management and professional development classes
  • Visiting speaker series
  • The Microsoft Garage - Awesome if you like to get hands on
  • Free library with books delivered to building receptionists for you to pick up. Free access to digital libraries like ACM.
  • Career and professional development is a partnership between you and your manager, reinforced by numerous career resources.

####Time Off

  • 15 days PTO , 10 sick days, and 2 personal holidays
  • Additional 5 days PTO for every 5 years at Microsoft up to a max of 30 days PTO
  • 8 weeks of parental leave.


  • Microsoft Connector (covering in campus commute + some areas in Seattle/Eastside for some hours of the day).
  • Orca card for free use of Seattle Public Transit (doesn't include ferries).


  • Discounts on Microsoft SW/HW
    • 80%ish for software
    • 5-15%ish for hardware
    • The software discounts are good (it's something like $25 for Windows), the hardware discounts are ok on the keyboards and mice, but you're better off waiting for Amazon to have a sale on an Xbox One bundle than buying a console from the company store.
    • The hardware discount on Xbox was something like $25 last time I checked- like I said, you're better off waiting for Amazon to have a sale on a bundle. Keyboards and mice are alright, but those usually aren't big purchases anyway. You can get something like a 30-50% discount on those.
    • You only get free hardware if you're an intern or if the CEO is feeling particularly generous (not often)
    • Get a MSDN subscription with $150/mo of Azure credits.
  • Microsoft PRIME card to offer discounts on various services in WA area (any notable discounts that the card offers? Microsoft Prime.
    • BOGO deals at a bunch of local restaurants, and 20% off at some others. That's probably the biggest use I've seen out of it.
    • There's also discounted admission to some local museums: Museum of Flight Adult fee goes from $20 to $5.

####Random Stuff

  • The Stay Fit benefit is either a membership to one of several gyms (completely paid for, but it's a taxable benefit), reimbursement of up to $800 worth of fitness stuff (anything from dance classes to ski rentals, and you can even reimburse a Kinect), or $200 cash. Option includes the ability to have a free membership with the Pro Sports Club, something worth close to $3,000 a year.
  • Volunteer and gift matching. Donate cash, stock or products to your favorite nonprofit agency, and we'll match dollar-for-dollar up to $15,000 per year. Volunteer your time in the community, and we will donate $25 per hour to the eligible organizations you serve.
  • Free drinks, subsidized lunches, and nice, staffed cafes in almost every building.
  • The Commons, our own on-campus mall in the center of campus:
    • Stores, shops, and great places to eat
    • Branch of a popular tech employee credit union (First Tech)
    • Employee post office (discounts for some shipping)
    • There are live performances there virtually every day, demonstrations and events put on by local companies, and more.
    • On-campus farmers market outside there during the summer months on Tuesdays
    • The Gallery, which hosts some parts of The Microsoft Art Collection among other things
  • The Visitor Center has some pretty cool displays and interactive presentations. Doesn't hurt that the on-campus store is located across the hallway either.
  • On-campus Health Center. This isn't the school nurse's office - this is a legitimate medical facility. Staffed by actual physicians, NPs, nurses, pharmacists, and chiropractors. Walk-ins welcome.
  • Fields and courts for every sport you could want to play - baseball fields, soccer fields, cricket fields, volleyball areas, basketball courts, tennis courts, you get the idea.
  • Sports equipment you can check out to use with the previously mentioned sports fields.
  • Most buildings have showers and locker rooms with towels and soap. Great for those biking to work.
  • Bike cages in the garages of some buildings to securely lock your bike if so desired.
  • Lots of unmentioned discounts all over the area (Not PRIME Card) - show your badge and you'll find your security deposit being waived at most apartment complexes, car dealerships giving you special financing deals, and more. There's even a discount for Microsoft employees at the Bellevue Apple Store. Go figure.
  • Discounts on various services, like your smartphone contract.
  • Campus is beautiful. Waterfalls, streams, fountains, miles of trail, soaring evergreens, and plenty of hidden spots and benches to just relax and take it easy in the middle of a long day.
  • All buildings are different and many are filled with Xboxes, pool tables, Foosball tables, and arcade machines and just random stuff to mess with scattered all over. Virtually every building has a ping pong table. That one seems especially popular.
  • Holiday parties and morale events. Some examples:
    • Microsoft Family Movie Night: Bring the kids, enjoy a family movie with free popcorn and drinks
    • Team going out to lunch or doing a group course
    • Bubble Soccer
    • Entire department rented out a theatre, from which you could watch one of three current movies with free three snacks
  • If you are put in the OSG department, there is an internal site that gets you a lot of nice xbox games and Xbox live as well.
  • Electric car charging stations. Access the ChargePoint Network, an open-platform network of electric vehicle charging stations throughout our Redmond campus and around the globe.

####Intern Specifics

  • Similar benefits as full-time employees
  • Housing options: subsidized corporate housing or you can receive a lump sum to find your own place
  • Travel allowance: Fly or drive your own vehicle
  • Transit options: Rent a subsidized car, lump sum to purchase a bicycle (not available if you drove here though :( )
  • Intern specific groups and social events
  • Self-started intern projects:

####Working at Microsoft

  • Private offices (at least in my experience), as opposed to open office spaces.
  • Defined roles, career path options (you don't have to be a manager to move up), and movement between job families.
  • Easy access to colleagues and others working at Microsoft to learn and grow. Emphasis on mentoring between different levels of seniority. Access to employee resource groups, networks and social groups
  • Lots of autonomy and independence, great work/life balance, and a positively gargantuan array of products and projects you can choose to work on.
  • If you like to see products as they come out, lots of departments strive to Dogfood their products, so you get to see the latest stuff being developed
  • Flexibility: Whether you are an early bird or a late riser, flexible work hours allow you to work when you are at your best. Our dress code is simple: you have your own style; we expect you to bring it.
  • Reddit: AvecLaVerite - What it's like working at Microsoft. Some highlights:
    • Satya getting tagged as CEO earlier this year = shucking of dead weight, lot of other progressive policy changes (Absorbing and contributing to OSS, playing nicer with partners and competitors, getting real with our pricing and with our goals, etc).
    • There are no set hours, there is no clocking in, there is no judgment if you come in later or leave earlier
    • There is no micromanagement and autonomy is king. For some people the absence of tight hand-holding is a negative, but if you can take initiative, you will flourish here.
    • Everyone you will work with is smart. Everyone. Some new hires (I was one) come in feeling like some hot-shot genius and see people make mistakes or fail at something and think they're working among incompetency, but the more you work with people, the more you realize every person was hired here for a reason and all of them are wicked good at something and whip-smart, including no small number who are the best in the world at what they do.
    • Tolerance, diversity, and respect are highly regarded company values here and we care about the work you do, not what you look or talk like, and harassment and intolerance are met with harsh penalties.
    • Oh, and I should probably mention the work itself - you won't find this kind of breadth arguably anywhere else aside from our friendly rivals over at Google. You wanna work on enterprise? Work on enterprise. Video games? Work on video games. Low-level drivers and kernel code? We got that. Operating systems? Yup. Mobile? Uh huh. Web development? Sure thing. Apps? Of course. High-scale cloud? Say hello to Azure. Wanna work with the health industry? Automobile software? Giant 90-inch touch screens? Hardware? Search? Corporate IT? Ground-breaking research on the next big things in tech? We've got it all and then some.
    • At few places can you start out working on something that is used by billions of people. The scale here is unreal. Absolutely unreal. Even products that we as a company consider "failing in the market" (Windows Phone, anyone?) have tens of millions of active daily users. Your impact on people can be tremendous, even working on a small feature.
  • Reddit: AvecLaVerite - Differences between the old and new MS:
    • Way more collaboration at the top layers. All of Satya's direct reports are having big XLT (Executive Leadership Team) meetings regularly and trying to make sure that everyone is moving in alignment.
    • Disciplines ("Dev"/SDE and "Test"/SDET) are gone and all divisions are transitioning to one standard title of "Software Engineer". Same applies at management layers (Now we just have "Engineering Managers", "Engineering Leads", etc).
    • With the discipline shift, there's been a huge movement to focus more on instrumentation, data science and analysis and a de-emphasis on dedicated test teams and long-term (Read: multi-year) product visions.
    • Many restrictions to intra-company movement are now lifted - this just came down the pipeline. Moving teams has never been easier.
    • Review system is overhauled - no more stack ranking individuals; instead of a monolithic annual review, reviews are done quarterly ("Connects" they're called). Rewards still come out annually though now stock vests every six months instead of every 12.
    • More focus on enterprise, more focus on cloud, and a ton more focus on cross-platform. If it makes more business sense to release something first on iOS or Android now, we will.
    • The OSS floodgates have been thrown open and using it internally is now both encouraged and incredibly easy to get through legal.
    • The whole damn company is suddenly using or trying to adopt agile development and, along with that, embrace more industry-standard tools here, especially ones that have leap-frogged internal options (Git adoption is by far the biggest example).
    • Major engineering system overhauls intended to get internal tools and systems ahead of what's being used by current competitors.
    • Much more use internally of technologies that we sell to other companies (Azure is the biggest example of this one). Someone finally asked the obvious question, "If it's not good enough for us why would we expect it to be good enough for another company?"


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