Access cloud services quickly with Windows 10 and Azure AD

In my previous post, I installed a copy of Windows 10 and linked it directly to the Azure Active Directory. Windows 10 supports Azure AD as an authentication system. This means that accessing services that also use Azure AD is made much simpler. This article looks at how you can streamline access to your cloud services.

At OCG, we use Office 365. Generally, when I need to access this over the cloud, I am prompted for my ID and password information. First, let’s take a look at what happens on my Windows 10 device that is not linked to Azure AD. I will use Edge (the new browser) so it will be consistent on both the systems.

Starting the browser I enter the URL: portal.office.com/home. I am presented with the following screen.
office-365-sign-in-screen1I have a number of accounts that I use on a regular basis. In this case, I will select the OCG account. On a browser that has not accessed the Office 365 service before, there is no history to select from. In that case, I would be asked for an ID.

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So having selected my OCG account, Edge then prompts me for information about whether this is a work or Microsoft account (I have both associated with this email address).

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After selecting ‘Work or school account’, I am prompted to authenticate.

authenticate-microsoft-office-365-screen4

Once I have entered the password and clicked on ‘Sign In’, the Office 365 environment is displayed as normal.

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Let’s look at how this is different to an Azure linked Windows 10. We’ll start with the same scenario. I open the Edge browser and then type in the URL.

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As soon as the enter key is pressed, the screen changes.

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There is no login screen, so I don’t have to worry about typing in my ID or remembering my password. I can start using Office straight away.

This is a simple example, but it shows the link between Azure AD and Windows 10 can reduce the amount of effort that the user has to go through to access services. Since the system uses single sign-on (SSO), the user never has to remember additional ID and password details. Not only does it mean they can get into their systems much quicker, but it avoids any problems caused by forgotten credentials.

 

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