Windows 10: Enterprise State Roaming will help you take your settings with you

A new Windows 10 feature allows business users to sync data and settings across devices using the cloud.
Written by Steve Ranger, Global News Director

Microsoft has kicked off the public preview of Enterprise State Roaming, a Windows 10 feature that allows business users to sync their settings across devices.

Since Windows 8, 'setting sync' has allowed consumers to sync their operating system settings and Universal Windows Platform application data across all their Windows devices, by using a personal Microsoft account and a consumer OneDrive folder in the cloud.

Enterprise State Roaming does the same thing for business users, but uses different technology -- the data is 'roamed' using Azure Active Directory identities and is backed by storage in the Azure cloud. It allows things like OS settings, themes and wi-fi passwords to be synchronized across corporate-owned Azure AD joined devices -- handy if you regularly log into different devices.

Microsoft said that using Enterprise State Roaming means there is no mixing of enterprise data into consumer cloud accounts -- or consumer data in enterprise cloud accounts. The company said that all data is automatically encrypted before leaving the user's Windows 10 device using Azure Rights Management (Azure RMS); all content stays encrypted at rest in the cloud, except for namespaces, like settings names and Windows app names. Microsoft is offering free use of Azure RMS for Enterprise State Roaming.

Microsoft said that data will be stored in an Azure region based on the country associated with the Azure AD directory. "We understand it is important to some of our enterprise customers to ensure data stays within their geographic boundaries due to the compliance reasons," said Gunjan Jain, senior program manager in Microsoft's Windows Server and Services Division.

The public preview is only available in the US and Europe, but Microsoft said it had plans to roll out globally "in the near future".

Organisations wanting to deploy Enterprise State Roaming require an Azure Active Directory Premium subscription, plus Windows 10 (Version 1511, Build 10586 or greater). Devices must either be Azure AD Joined or AD Domain Joined with automatic registration to Azure AD.

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