Windows 10 supports device sign-in via Azure Active Directory

If, like many of my customers, you’re considering ditching all local servers in favor of cloud-based infrastructure, there’s one thorny problem you have to overcome: central account management without a domain controller. Until Windows 10 there weren’t many good options – sure, with Windows 8 PCs you could switch to using Microsoft Accounts to sign in to your local device, but that approach brings other problems.

Windows 10 offers a fantastic new option – the ability to connect your machine to Microsoft Azure Active Directory, and use your AAD credentials to log in to Windows! That solves the “last-mile” problem, so now your Office 365 sign-in (which uses AAD) is also your Windows sign-in (which now uses AAD), and you can use central administrative creds to manage the machine and enjoy all the other benefits of being part of a managed environment, and when you add Microsoft Intune into the mix, the device management picture is that much more complete!

For businesses with mobile users or an aversion to on-prem technology (which all business should be on-prem tech averse!), this option offers a really compelling reason to move to Windows 10.

Microsoft Ignite 2015, here we come!

I am at the MS Ignite 2015 conference, and there are 1,129 sessions scheduled for the 5 days. I will be busy. It will be awesome.

New Microsoft “Visual Studio Code” Preview – how to perform a manual install on Windows

Microsoft just released a new, free, cross-platform dev tool called Visual Studio Code. I had trouble installing it on my Surface Pro 3 because at this time the installer uses the Windows temp directory – something that I have locked down via group policy as an extra security measure – so the installer fails with an error: “Failed to extract installer”:

Here’s how you perform the manual install of Visual Studio Code.

Open your %LOCALAPPDATA% and copy SquirrelTemp folder to another location. This folder contains update.exe, the Visual Studio Code NuGet package (Code-0.1.0-full.nupkg) and a couple of other files. Open PowerShell or Command prompt, switch to the SquirrelTemp folder you copied previously, and run this command:

.\update.exe –install=c:\scratch\squirreltemp\Code-0.1.0.nupkg

A minute later, Visual Studio Code will be up and running on your machine.