Today Microsoft made a small, but important change to its set of cloud services, in the process allowing users of its Office 365 productivity suite to access Azure, the firm’s cloud computing product, using the same credentials.

That fact, however, is all but secondary to Microsoft’s main announcement today, that Azure Management portal has been integrated with Azure Active Directory, now supporting federation “with a customers on-premise Windows Server.”

As TNW reported yesterday that Azure Active Directory has processed some 200 billion authentications, and currently handles over 4.5 billion weekly. Microsoft went on to claim that it processes 9,000 authentications per second, at an average execute time of 0.7 seconds.

Integration

That Microsoft is closer tying Office 365 to Azure isn’t surprising, but it is another step in the long-winding path of product unification that Microsoft has been on over the past few years.

And, don’t think that the move to improve subscription based services is an accident in any way. As we have seen from pricing shifts by Microsoft, the company is pushing its subscription products on perhaps stodgy enterprise clients via cost incentives. Therefore, to see a link between Office 365 and Azure is all but surprising.

In a sense, the federation of Office 365 and Azure account credentials mirrors Microsoft’s work with its new Microsoft Account system, by which consumers can have a single login to a great number of services from the company. Perhaps Microsoft is working to build something similar for its enterprise customers.

Top Image Credit: Robert Scoble