As many of you know, for the last few years I’ve been plugging away deep in the plumbing of enterprise identity and Reimagining Active Directory for the cloud.  It’s been a great experience and I couldn’t be more proud of all the cool stuff that has gone on across the industry to enable the world of claims-based identity and identity as a service.  Over the years I’ve gotten to know many identity leaders including Kim Cameron, Craig Burton, and Andre Durand and have worked with many other great people at companies like Shell, Sun, IBM, Google, and Facebook. 

Building on all this collaboration, just a few weeks ago here at Microsoft we reached a major milestone with the official release of Windows Azure Active Directory (AAD). Today all of Microsoft's major organizational cloud services build on AAD – this includes Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics. AAD supports almost 3 million organizations through 14 global data centers with 99.97% availability.  This level of scale and availability is unprecedented for a turnkey identity management service – it’s a huge accomplishment.  Although I love the SaaS and scale aspects of AAD, I’ve spent my career working with developers – so I’m stoked that we have made all this available to developers through new technologies like the AAD Graph API.

It is always sad to move on from a great project, but with the release of AAD it is an ideal time to transition and start a new role.  So I’m happy to announce that I’m headed to Microsoft’s Developer & Platform Evangelism (DPE) team, working for Steve Guggenheimer.  My role is to lead the team doing the deep technical evangelism and development here in DPE. 

It is a fantastic gig – we’re working with developers, designers, and IT pros from across the industry – from the consumer to enterprise to startups to hobbyists – helping them create amazing next generation apps, build the frameworks that make all this easier, and share our experiences with the community. To do this work I have an incredible team with people like Eric Schmidt, who leads our consumer applications efforts and has done ground-breaking work on projects like Sunday Night Football (which is up for a Sports Emmy for Outstanding Live Sports Series). 

We’re building out the team by adding top notch developers and evangelists from across the industry. Two recent examples: James Whittaker – a known industry disruptor and incredible speaker joins us from Bing where he has been leading the development team making Bing knowledge available programmatically – many people may know him from his viral blog post on why he left Google for Microsoft. And Patrick Chanezon just joined us from VMware where he was driving their cloud and tools developer relations – he has a ton of expertise in the open source space which will be increasingly important given our new Azure IaaS support for Linux.  As you can see we are bringing together a fantastic team, so if you are an amazing developer and want to get onboard, please let us know.

And if it isn’t enough to get to work with all these great people, we also get to play with all the newest and coolest technologies we’re delivering to developers these days – everything from Windows to Xbox to Windows Phone – and we connect it to the latest cloud services from Azure, Office, and Bing.  It’s a real privilege to be at the center of so much action and to engage so directly with the developer community. 

Looking ahead I’ll use this blog to share a view into what we’re doing here in DPE, talk about key tech trends and developments both inside and outside Microsoft, and most importantly, exchange ideas and engage in a dialog with the developer community.  We’re excited about a great upcoming Build conference in June - we hope to see you there.