Apple vs. Microsoft – Who has the power to be the better employer?

Susanna Kahr

No other question sparks such fierce discussion among computer enthusiasts, smartphone fanatics and tablet lovers – Mac or PC? While some make their case for one or the other by quoting prices, security and performance volume, we put the two tech giants into the ring for a completely different reason. We want to know – who is the nerd amongst these employers? Who treats their employees the best? Who attracts the creme de la creme of programmers with exciting opportunities and challenges? Apple or Microsoft? Want to find out who’s winning? Join us for the fight to end all fights, it’s time for our employer duel!

Apple – where employees think differently?

“Apple is awesome, they have their issues like everyone else, but they are doing their best, and that’s all that matters.” – anonymous employer review 

With a starting budget of just $1300, Steve Jobs started working on the idea of a computer – in a garage. Fast forward to today and the global corporation he started has more than 2000 employees, has its own “Apple Park” in Cupertino and inspires millions of Apple lovers worldwide with its legendary product launches. Under the leadership of Tim Cook, Apple continues to be successful – in terms of both sales and employees. After all, the boss of all bosses is known among his employees for the fact that he communicates expectations, successes, as well as failures exceptionally well.  According to kununu users, the global corporation is certainly not afraid of one thing and that’s feedback. Feedback is highly welcomed there and it made me feel like I mattered and meant something to have them to care about how I felt.”, states one kununu user. This feeling is intensified by a study that is carried out twice a year in which employees can provide suggestions for improvement for the company itself, but also for the employees. However, there does seem to be some disagreement about the treatment of individual employees. One kununu user writes employees “are treated with a tremendous amount of respect and care.”, whilst another says, “I have never felt treated differently, but I do know I get paid less than some of my male coworkers that were hired in after me.”

Nevertheless, it seems to rain dollar bills for Apple employees, as they rate their salary satisfaction highly on our site, giving it a score of 4.15 points (out of 5). And watch out foodies, there’s even a special treat on offer for Apple employees in Silicon Valley: food for free. Aside from that, programmers and marketers love the flexible working hours and holiday allowance, their talented colleagues and the environmental awareness demonstrated by the tech group. Maybe you’ve already noticed that some stores even have real trees growing in them! In short, Apple does a damn good job. But are they really a better employer than Microsoft? Everything will be revealed. It’s getting tight!


Want to see even more insights into the working world of Apple? Here’s an overview of the results from over 650 employer evaluations on kununu:

Microsoft – empowering us all?

“Everyone works hard, but at the end of the day you are able to go home and have time to spend with their family” – anonymous employer review

One year before Apple started to conquer the market, Microsoft made its first step into the computer industry. Under the motto “working hard to make this world more efficient”, developers, programmers and technicians have set themselves the goal of creating the best PC ever. It remains to be seen whether they succeed or not, but there’s one thing we know for sure, with 135,000 employees they have become the largest employer in the software industry. And, no one knows better than Microsoft that you have to start small! That’s why new employees are warmly welcomed to the company, according to a kununu user: “When I first came in I was introduced to the whole layout of the work place by my director and from there things just kept getting better. Everyone was extremely welcoming and helped me out when I was there.” A good start also seems to be a big reason as to why many employees remain loyal to the company for a long time. “I have been working here for more than 10 years and would not dream of working elsewhere.” writes one kununu user.

Sounds like a land of milk and honey, right? Almost. When it comes to salary, some employees stop loving Microsoft. “Comparable to other companies, it is fair. Fair as in I can afford to support my family in the high priced area I work, no.” reports one kununu user, whilst another says “while the benefits are good, they are not top of industry great.” But is that enough for Apple to win? As we all know, money isn’t everything, especially when it comes to our jobs. That’s why it’s nice to read that Microsoft communicates well with employees, provides all of the tools needed to accomplish the tasks of the day and treats you very well as an employee.  


Sounds like good, but hard work, right? Sounds like everyone is happy and that there’s great team spirit at both Apple and Microsoft. Right, that’s why it’s all the more exciting to see who is actually doing better as an employer. The results are coming up, right after a quick overview of what kununu users had to say about Microsoft:

Apple vs. Microsoft – who’s the winner?

Now it’s time to ask the all important question: Who’s the winner? Well, as you can see, it was really close! If you look at the kununu scores awarded to the competitors over time, they’re really neck and neck. Nevertheless, since 2015 Apple has had a consistent lead staying just a few percentage points ahead with an average kununu score of 4.12 points in 2019. So, Apple can call itself the winner of this round. Nevertheless, Tim Cook and team shouldn’t get too excited just yet, because Bill Gates and his team are right on their heels with an average score of 4.08.

For all the Microsoft supporters out there, this is no reason to be sad, because this very minimal difference between the two competitors shows that they are both top employers and you’re in good hands with both!

Are you constantly on the lookout for new challenges and love making the impossible possible? Then you better take a bite of the apple and take on a job at Apple. The constant problem solving not only challenges your brain cells, but also makes you grow as a person, as one kununu user reports: “The training and support has made me a better person regardless of where I go.”

Are you more interested in building a long-lasting career than taking on tricky tasks all the time? Are you motivated by hard work? Microsoft offers you just that and much more: “If you are looking for a promising career with great pay and benefits and the option to be promoted, this is the place.”, reviews one former employee on kununu.

But now it is enough of the good advice and praise. With a final “Congratulations, Apple!” we say goodbye for today and look forward to seeing you at the next employer duel between Walmart and Amazon!



kununu offers you 3,586,713 authentic company reviews on personal experience, salary, company climate, and application processes for 908,491 companies. Check them out and find the perfect employer for your needs!


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