Microsoft plans link between directory, Live services

Microsoft is planning to sync its Active Directory with its Live Web-based services to give users single sign on for both.

Microsoft is planning to sync its Active Directory with its Live Web-based services to give users single sign on for applications and services both inside a company network and on the Web.

The plan will be made possible through Windows Live ID, formerly Microsoft's Passport service, though the company has not set a time line for when the functionality will be available, Michael Stephenson, director of product management for identity and access at Microsoft, said on Tuesday.

Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie briefly mentioned the plan to allow for federated network identity between Active Directory and Microsoft's Live online services during a keynote at the Tech Ed conference in Boston last week. He framed it as part of Microsoft's plan to bridge the gap between the more consumer-oriented Live services and enterprise services that company plans to offer to business customers. However, Ozzie did not give many details on how the service would work.

According to Stephenson, Windows Live ID, available now, is the mechanism for federating user identity across all of Microsoft's Windows Live services. Eventually, Microsoft plans to link Windows Live ID to Active Directory so when a user signs in to Active Director to access services within a company's network, he or she also will be automatically signed in to Live services, such as Windows Live Messenger, Office Live and other Web-based services.

"The goal is to have transparent and secure access of these services without the creation of a separate network identity," he said.

Coordinating identity between online services and Active Directory is not a new concept, said Matt Rosoff, analyst with Directions on Microsoft. "Microsoft has been talking about federating Active Directory and Passport for at least three years, and I don't know what kind of progress they've made," he said.

Passport is currently a way for users to authenticate themselves across various Microsoft consumer services, but it never really lived up to the vision Microsoft had for it, Rosoff said. Microsoft had hoped that third parties would pay the company to authenticate their Web-site users through Passport. But Rosoff said that it really didn't fly with companies because the data they collect by signing up users to their Web sites is valuable to them.

"Most companies looked at it as, 'We can handle authentication,'" he said.

However, services such as Windows Live Mail could add a new dimension to Microsoft's current plan to sync up Active Directory and the former Passport service, Rosoff said. "It might pave the way for things like allowing corporations to use Windows Live e-mail to host their corporate e-mail," he said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Elizabeth Montalbano

IDG News Service
Show Comments





Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?