Las year Microsoft released Azure AD. Now at first I wasn’t sure what the value of this product really was. As time has gone by we’ve learnt that apart from being the foundation for office 365 user management Azure AD can be used for allowing SSO between cloud services including non Microsoft services such as Salesforce, Dropbox, Box and way more.
But with Windows 10 comes the big change. I’ve been running the preview version of windows 10 for the better part of 3 months now and I must say that I am thoroughly enjoying both the OS and the Azure AD connection. Connecting your Windows 10 to Azure AD allow for SSO with all supported platforms. This of course includes office 365 (Web based SSO requires using Microsoft Edge as your browser), CRM Online and any other service that you have connected to Azure AD such as Salesforce, Dropbox and so forth. You can also extend capabilities to GPO, Anti Virus management, Software Deployment and more by using an MDM solution such as Microsoft Intune.
So how do we connect are Windows 10 device to Azure AD?
Well the easiest way is to simply login to the device using your company (Azure AD) credentials. If your device is already setup and using a different set of credentials don’t panic, you can still connect your device to Azure AD. Simply open up Settings and head over to System and click Join Azure AD. You will be prompted for credentials and your computer will be joined to the Azure AD. Connecting your device to Azure AD will also automatically set up the built in Mail & Calendar apps to connect to your office 365 account.
Now what would I like to see coming?
I believe that the possibility of syncing local AD GPO’s to Azure AD would be a great improvement. And of course managing the GPO through Azure AD and not an MDM product would also vastly improve the products usability.
Either way this is still a great value addition, especially for companies with remote workforce who have PC’s that are not connected the Local Domain and also a great solution for temp workers who just require Mail and SSO capabilities with company products.