Windows 10 and Azure Active Directory: Embracing the Cloud

When we talked about new Windows 10 manageability choices back in November, we announced new capabilities that will enable Windows 10 to leverage Azure Active Directory. Since these capabilities are now starting to appear in the Windows 10 preview builds, this is a great time to explore them in more detail.

When talking about Windows 10 and Azure Active Directory, it’s important to understand that there are a few different scenarios that organizations may use:

  • Users will be able to join their work Windows 10 devices directly to Azure Active Directory and sign into Windows using their Azure Active Directory account and password – while still having single sign-on access to Office 365 and to on-premises services that leverage Active Directory authentication. The devices can be automatically enrolled into a mobile device management (MDM) service at the same time.
  • Users will be able to add their work account to their personal (BYOD) Windows 10 devices, establishing a link between Windows and their work account managed in Azure Active Directory, which will provide single sign-on access to the organization’s services. The devices may also be automatically enrolled in mobile device management (MDM).
  • Traditional PC devices, joined to an existing Active Directory domain, will have single sign-on access to cloud-based services like Office 365, the Windows Store, or any other Azure Active Directory-aware application. Windows 10 understands that the Active Directory account is associated with a synchronized Azure Active Directory account. (Device management continues to be provided using Active Directory Group Policy and System Center Configuration Manager.)

These scenarios provide organizations a great deal of flexibility – choose the scenario that makes the most sense for each device.

Since most organizations already use Active Directory, the logical next step for exploring Windows 10’s Azure Active Directory support is to set up directory integration between Active Directory and Azure Active Directory. For those that prefer more hands-on learning, check out the on-demand content from Microsoft Ignite.

But we don’t want to stop there, we have much more information to share. Alex Simons, Director of Program Management for the Identity and Services Division, and his team will be posting a series of blogs talking about Windows 10 and Azure Active directory, starting with this initial blog post.

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