Before, this was not possible, but now, Gmail users can collaborate with others through Microsoft Azure Active Directory B2B without needing a Microsoft account. According to company officials, this feature has been in the public preview since the 28th of August.
Azure AD B2B and B2C are solutions known for providing secure on-premises and cloud authentication. B2C is mostly meant for developers who design apps that connect with customer identity services like Google and Facebook.
Microsoft Azure AD B2B, as the name implies, is designed specifically for B2B partner collaboration, which includes collaboration in Microsoft Office 365. Microsoft explained that SharePoint Online, Unified Groups, OneDrive, and Azure AD are practically the same thing, since the same collaboration invitation APIs are used.
Up to this point, a Microsoft or Azure AD account was required to use Azure Active Directory B2B services. Alex Simons, Vice President of Program Management for Microsoft’s Identity Division, blogged that Google became the first third-party identity provider supported by the platform.
As of right now, the email account needs to end with @gmail in order to be accepted.
In other related news, the public preview for Microsoft Authenticator app for Apple Watch will be live soon. According to the company, this should take no more than a couple of weeks. The authenticator makes things much simpler when trying to approve sign-in notifications that ask for verification through biometric input or PINs; with its help, having to use your phone will no longer be needed.