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Software development is a complex activity that requires a group of individuals working effectively as a team. Studies have shown that the performance of an effective team exceeds that of individuals acting independently. However, achieving effectiveness is a challenging task that needs investment and commitment. In this paper, we investigate the characteristics that differentiate effective teams from all others. To observe these characteristics within real software teams, we have chosen the Microsoft company as a case study and have analyzed Microsoft's teams with respect to the characteristics that we define.