Microsoft has now released the public version of Windows Azure Active Directory (WAAD), a cloud based directory.

WAAD is used with Office 365 to manage Office 365 users – cloud user or synchronized with your internal directory – as well as to provide a single point of identity management with all your applications.

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You will be able to use WAAD to centralized applications access and authorization using the REST API using your own directory service or using third party authentication services such as Microsoft Account (formerly know as Live ID or Passport), Google, Yahoo or Facebook.

WAAD will be provided for free, so feel free to evaluate from http://activedirectory.windowsazure.com; if you already have Office 365 subscription, you will be able to manage your Office 365 users and services (such as Windows Azure Rights Management).

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To know more about WAAD go to http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/home/features/identity/ and for your developers go to http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=285409&clcid=0x409

More features will be added in the future…​