Last week at Microsoft’s TechEd conference in Europe we talked about the enterprise capabilities in Windows 10, starting with Joe Belfiore’s keynote presentation and continuing into a variety of breakout sessions where we could dig deeper into a number of areas such as security, deployment and manageability.

When it comes to Windows manageability, we’re proud of the capabilities that are built into Windows. But as your organization’s needs continue to evolve in this increasingly mobile-first world, we need to evolve the Windows management features as well so that they continue to offer the best capabilities, regardless of your scenario.

Management Choices

With Windows 10, this evolution involves new identity and device management choices, as well as continued investments in existing capabilities. For identity, Microsoft Active Directory provides key identity and security capabilities for organizations today. With Windows 10 we’ll also add the ability to leverage Azure Active Directory, devices can be connected to Azure AD, and users can login to Windows with Azure AD accounts or add their Azure ID to gain access to business apps and resources.

At the same time, we’ll ensure that Windows works better when using Active Directory and Azure Active Directory together. When connecting the two, users can automatically be signed-in to cloud-based services like Office 365, Microsoft Intune, and the Windows Store, even when logging in to their machine using Active Directory accounts. For users, this will mean no longer needing to remember additional user IDs or passwords.

From a device management perspective, we added support in Windows 8.1 for mobile device management (MDM), allowing IT professionals to use the same lightweight management technique with desktops, laptops, and tablets as they use for Windows Phone and other mobile devices. The capabilities provided in Windows 8.1 were focused primarily on bring your own device (BYOD) scenarios. With Windows 10, we’ll extend MDM support in order to better manage corporate-owned devices, supporting the configuration of Enterprise Data Protection policies, support for managing multiple users, full control over the Windows Store, VPN configuration, full device wipe capabilities, and much more.

With Windows 10, we also allow for choice between Active Directory, Group Policy, and System Center Configuration Manager for corporate-owned devices that are frequently connected to the corporate network, or Azure Active Directory and MDM for devices that are typically mobile and internet-connected.

These features are still being worked on and will show up in upcoming Windows 10 preview builds, so stay tuned. Until then, check out Michael Niehaus’ session from TechEd Europe on this topic, as well as Nasos Kladakis’ session on Azure Active Directory.