Simple, responsive sign-in to Microsoft services driven by Windows Azure AD

This winter, the Windows Azure AD team will launch a new sign-in experience across Office 365, Windows Azure and other Microsoft services used by organizations around the world. Our redesign goals were to create a simple experience that’s optimized for modern devices, reduces  the number of times users need to sign in, and provides the best possible experience across the many devices that you want to use.

Whether we’re accessing our email, collaborating on SharePoint or managing our services on Azure, it usually starts by signing in. Let’s check it out.

Responsive Design

The new sign in experience automatically adapts to the screen resolution and capabilities of different devices, OSes and browsers. It looks fantastic on recent browsers, tablets and mobile devices.It’s optimized for touch and also works great with mouse or keyboard. Regardless of the device you access from, your sign in experience is consistent and predictable.

Latency Optimizations

We’ve optimized the way the page is structured and defer downloading illustrations and partners’ “prefetching” content. This allows users to start signing in almost immediately, while the rest of content downloads in the background. On smaller screens such as on a smartphone, the large illustration is usually not downloaded, saving time and bandwith. 

Enhanced Federated Sign-In

Many large organizations enable on-premises-to-cloud Single Sign On by federating their on-premises identity infrastructure, such as Windows Server Active Directory and AD FS, to Windows Azure AD. The new sign-in UX greatly enhances the experience for employees of these organizations. 

And because Windows Azure AD works seamlessly across services, you can easily navigate between Office 365, Windows Intune, the Windows Azure Management Portal or any 1st or 3rd party service that uses Windows Azure AD without having to sign in a second time. For more information about federating please see Alex Simon’s previous post. 

Simplified subsequent sign-ins

We’ve made it simpler for users to remain signed in and save time on subsequent sign-ins. Checking “Keep me signed in” will keep you connected until you explicitly sign out, and allow a user tile to be shown on the sign in page on subsequent sign ins. Clicking “forget this account” removes the tile.

Preview

During this preview period, the old sign-in UX is shown by default but you can opt-in to try out the new one. The preview UX is reserved for testing and is not supported as a production service. 

To turn on the new UX, please visit http://login.microsoftonline.com/optin.srf and click the opt-in button. You’ll need to visit this page weekly and opt-in from each browser and device where you want to see the new UX. To turn it off, simply visit this page again and click the blue button.

Tell us what you think!

You can provide feedback on the new sign-in experience and report issues on the Windows Azure AD forum

Best Regards,

Alex Simons
Director of Program Management
Active Directory Division