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Taming Microsoft when you return from Google after 8 years

Thanks to Mark Deakin, we made a decision to start supporting Microsoft (credit also goes to James Akrigg who spent few hours with me early this year. Then the timing wasn’t right for us to act). But returning to Microsoft has not been plain sailing. This post is very much a place to capture how I am navigating through the various hurdles thrown at me.

To start with, I seem to have multiple accounts using the same email address. One seem to be called personal, another work and who knows, there could be more. Secondly, there is no real single sign on in Microsoft world. But I get the feeling that they are working on this.

It’s not easy to turn a on-premise beast to cloud champion overnight. So patience is called for, when you return to Microsoft.

Before I get into nitty gritty, here are my motivations:

  1. As a tech startup, leverage Microsoft BizSpark programme. Microsoft has many programmes, but BizSpark seems to be the right one for UnifiedVU. We signed up an year ago, but never used it until now. However, my team member still cannot get access to it. More on this later.
  2. Support Microsoft on UnifiedVU Platform, which means my team replicating the Apps we developed for Google for Microsoft to start with, i.e. Microsoft Mail, Microsoft Drive, etc. And then tap into the full capability of Microsoft Graph.

Microsoft BizSpark

Whether you have logged in or not, the footer banner constantly displays “Join BizSpark”. You cannot help but click it thinking you have not already joined the programme.

I’ve added two of my team mates. One of them have not yet got the invite email. He also uses a MacBook but I am hoping this should not be a reason why he does not get the email even after several resends.

I am hoping above will explain what services we can get as part of BizSpark.

[Help needed: Getting the account of my team member activated]

Microsoft App Studio

The reason I am here is the Mark convinced me this is a good place to start.

Whilst the journey started somewhere else, I’m going to start documenting from here, i.e. Microsoft App Studio. This time it knows who I am, so managed to log in without any problem.

Microsoft Windows 10 App Studio





[Help needed: Waiting for approval of the Windows 10 App]

When you click on Dev Centre, you are taken to

Microsoft Account

You get to here when you click on your avatar on top right and choose View Account.

According to Microsoft, Microsoft account is for all things Microsoft. Its there to manage your info, your purchases, your family’s devices, your security and privacy. Sounds great!

At this point in time, I am not sure whether this is the account to manage all my Microsoft interactions, e.g. BizSpark. But nevertheless I am documenting it here.

Microsoft Account

Worth checking out – Manage how you sign in to Microsoft:

At this stage, it became so painful to visit Microsoft URLs from Chrome, I had to switch to Firefox.

Still I’m not sure why I am in Microsoft Account, as the journey started from Microsoft App Studio. There was a link to click to Microsoft Account, which is how I arrived here.

[Help needed: I would like one work account]

When I did this couple of times,

Microsoft Dev Centre

After arriving from to

I seem to have two accounts, both using the same email address. Work and Personal Account. Obviously, I want to log in using Work account.

After logging in through Work account, when I click on Dashboard, I get “You’re signed in with the wrong credentials”.

Let’s try login with via the personal account. No errors this time.

No idea which account is linked to BizSpark or whether this is a possibility.

Microsoft Developer Centre

At present, I seem to have subscribed to following programmes:

  • Windows for the Windows 10 App
  • Azure – not sure whether this is the same account under the BizSpark programme.

Manage Users failed – “We could not validate your identity as a Global Admin”

Update 1 – 2016 Dec 12

I just about had enough of Microsoft using the same email address for business and personal accounts, and then getting confused. I changed the primary email to personal and deleted the business email as recommended by Microsoft on one of the support pages. Going forward, I will try to create or edit accounts as follows:

  • Personal account with personal email – using black and white picture of me.
  • Company or Business account with business email address – use coloured picture of me.

Personal Account:

Microsoft Account



Here is what I started to notice:

  • As soon as I deleted the business email, now my old Skype account is connected.
  • I also seem to have access to Microsoft Apps. Closer look shows I have free access to OneDrive and Outlook. And they both work.
  • Not sure what “Windows and Windows Phone Annual Developer Registration” is but I do have access to it as well.
  • Says Office Online is free but cannot access with a personal account.
  • Once I logged in to Drive or Outlook, then I have access to more Apps. If I have access to these, then why do I nee to access Office Online? Need further investigation.

Microsoft Apps

Business Account

Think its time to cry now! Tried to login to BizSpark but it wouldn’t have it as I deleted the business account earlier to untangle myself.

  • At, it wouldn’t accept my personal or business email.
  • Creating a new account using business email.
  • aha! It automatically connected with my old account. Got a smile now. phew!
  • Next try login to
  • Now I’m a loop and it would not let me log in after registering. PROBLEM!
  • Microsoft Dev Centre still recognises the old two accounts, business and personal, which means I cannot progress any further. PROBLEM!
  • Managed to login to and I have access to 15 apps (Personal account gives access to 12)

Update 2 – 2016 Dec 13

Status in terms of importance:
  1. – works with Company email. Password OK.
  2. – works with Company email. Password OK.
  3. – works with Personal email. Password OK.
  4. – works with Personal email. Password OK. (didn’t work last night – may be it needed time to sync with whatever)
  5. – after accepting company email and password, it takes me to (as of last night) PROBLEM
  6. immediately recognises work and personal accounts using Company email. PROBLEM
  7. recognises work and personal accounts using Company email. PROBLEM 

Update 3 – 2016 Dec 16


  1. – works with Company email. Password OK.
  2. select portal and then work account option. Password is not OK, but works with one in keychain.
  3. select portal and then personal account option (still using the same work email). Password OK.
  4. – works with Company email. Password OK.
  5. – works with Personal email (not work email acting as personal email. This is the real deal). Password OK.
  6. – works with Personal email(not work email acting as personal email. This is the real deal). Password OK.
  7. – Still does not work with Company email. Keep taking me to but cannot proceed further from here.
  8. immediately recognises work and personal accounts using Company email. Can login to Company using what’s stored in keychain but would not accept the password. Personal option fails with password or the password saved in keychain.
  9. recognises work and personal accounts using Company email. Works with the password saved in keychain but not the actual password.



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