Allow me for a moment to digress from technical jargon and “how to tutorials” so that I can relay an award that was recently given to Microsoft. Fortune Magazine published their first annual list of the World's Best Multinational Workplaces and Microsoft ranked number 1. Rankings were based on data from the Great Place to Work Institute, a global research firm that analyzed surveys taken by more than 2.5 million employees, representing a 10-million strong workforce and workplace culture analytics from more than 5,500 companies.

The beauty about this company is clearly the people who work for it. I’ve never met more talented and giving people in an organization than I have here at Microsoft. Some may say I’ve “drank the kool-aid” but I’d counter that by saying that you cannot create a veil of greatness if the material is damaged. Or in other words: no matter how much lipstick you put on a pig, it’s still just that – a pig.

While awards are generally self-fulfilling marketing gimmicks, this one is not. It shows that the employees value the company they work for and I for one could not agree more. Microsoft deserves to be at the top of this list. Everyday I'm excited to go to work and am honored to work for such a company of this magnitude.

To stay at the top of this list improvements should always be sought out and hopefully implemented. The worst thing a company can do is rest on its laurels lest it find itself at the back of the pack. Between the new policies that are in place and the overall mentality of employee to manager relationship, I believe Microsoft will continue to grow as a company and be successful in all its future endeavors.

One of the biggest benefits in working for such a company is Microsoft’s plethora of products. If you’re passionate about a certain technology or area there really is nothing stopping you from pursing that interest. Fancy gaming? XBOX. Productivity? Office. Mobility? Windows Phone. Cloud? Azure. Oses? Windows. Search? Bing. xRM? Dynamics. Databases? SQL Server. The list goes on and on and is one of the many strengths that Microsoft provides to its employees – not being stagnant in one area and always pushing the boundaries of oneself.

Am I viewing this with rose-colored glasses? Normally I’d say “perhaps” but this time I don’t think so. I believe the facts and the great strides Microsoft has made over the years are evident. Some may disagree with this positive outlook but focusing only on the negative aspects of a company brews resentment and achieves very little on a personal basis or on the organization as a whole. If a wrong needs to be righted it definitely should but negativity and a stressful environment should be minimal at best. Maybe some of Erik’s vision is rubbing off on me?

That said I know there are quite a few detractors of Microsoft and be that as it may, Microsoft is truly a great place to work. I believe CEO Steve Ballmer summed it up best in an email he sent to all employees about this award, where he said:

"We should all be incredibly proud of the company and culture that we have created together. We are unique in our ambition to build technology that makes life better for billions of people and millions of businesses around the world.  We have bold ideas that we pursue passionately and we can achieve anything when we work together and focus."