On October 1, Oliver Neihus from Microsoft wrote about security, privacy, and management features upcoming in Windows 10; by the next day, the post was gone from his MSDN blog. Luckily for us, Mary Jo at ZDNet managed to copy over some text. It reveals features that are aimed at making enterprise users want to let go of their Windows 7-like desktop mentality and see true value in Windows 10.
First, Microsoft will make Azure Active Directory credentials have the same benefits as a Microsoft Account. Businesses will be able to use their Azure AD accounts to log into devices, access the Store, customize settings, sync content, and arrange live tiles. Further, Windows 10 will include “next generation user credentials,” opening the possibility of features such as sign-in everywhere. Google has recently been talking about more credential systems and their applications, such as having a verified Android phone unlock your Chromebook based on proximity. While a feature like this may not be sufficiently secure for enterprise any time soon, there are huge possibilities.
Still on security, Mary managed to save a quote by Niehus stating, “Threshold (Windows 10) builds data protection into the natural flow (and) integrates data protection at the platform level,” This will reportedly include features such as limiting the apps a Virtual Private Network (VPN) has access to. IT departments will also have more control, and will be able to control the ports or IP addresses accessible over the VPN.
Windows 10 will be introducing a unified Store for Windows, Windows Phone, and the Xbox One. But the unification doesn’t end there, Niehus wrote:
The (new) Windows Store will also support more than just modern apps. It will add desktop apps, as well as other types of digital content. We will provide many different ways to pay for apps. And we’ll provide an organization store within the public Windows Store, where an org can place their own curated list of public apps as well as specific line-of-business apps that their employees need.
This is an effort to make the Windows Store appealing to the enterprise customers. Features such as buying apps in bulk and being able to easily manage their licenses provide value not found in rival app stores. Microsoft plans to use Azure AD accounts for organizational apps, and Microsoft accounts for personal apps, providing a natural balance for enterprise users.
Lastly, there will be optional Mobile Device Management (MDM) services that can use the Volume Purchase Program to Microsoft’s Store do the “heavy lifting.”
We will have to wait on further details, as this blog post did disappear. Our guess is that either there was miscommunication on publishing dates, or Microsoft realized they weren’t ready to roll out these features anytime soon. It is highly unlikely that this was published incorrectly as Oliver Niehus is the Microsoft Principal Application Development Manager for Windows and Security, and Microsoft routinely uses its employee’s blogs to reveal features.
Regardless, this is the first significant news we have gotten on the enterprise side of Windows 10 and we suggest you treat it as a preview of what is about to come.