I just spotted the following on the wiki Ward Cunningham set up requesting advice as a new hire to Microsoft.

Take a running start and don't look back

  1. Recognize that your wonderful inventiveness is the most valuable thing you will own in a culture that values its employees solely by their latest contributions. In a spartan culture like this, you will rise quickly.

  2. Keep spewing ideas, even when those ideas are repeatedly misunderstood, implemented poorly, and excised from products for reasons that have nothing to do with the quality of the idea. When you give up on communicating your new ideas, you will just go insane waiting to vest.

  3. Be patient, or better yet, don't even look back. Don't try to track and control what people do with your ideas. It will just make you jaded and cynical. (Like many of us who have gone before :)

  4. Communicate by writing things down in compact and considered form. The most senior people, who can take your ideas the furthest fastest, are very busy. As an added side-benefit, when random program managers who just don't get it come around for the fortieth time, begging for explanations, you can provide them references to your wiki, blog, or papers for the thirty-seventh time.

  5. Don't count on the research division for anything but entertaining politics.

Have a good time, and as Don said, plan for the long-haul!

I've been in the B0rg Cube just shy of two years but the above advice rings true in more ways than one. It is a very interesting culture and with the wrong attitude one could end up being very cynical. However as with all things, the best thing to do is learn how the system works and learn how to work it. The five points above are a good starting point.