Windows Logon

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

Windows logon is the set of interfaces that controls the management of credentials and user profiles when a user first attempts to log on to a computer, when a user logs off from a computer, or when the active user account is switched. These processes control the acquisition and release of system resources for a particular user, process, or service.

Windows logon also includes interfaces that perform Windows license verification when the operating system is first loaded to ensure that the operating system has been activated and that the use license is valid.


The following is a list of all aspects that are part of this managed entity:

Name Description

Windows License Verification

Windows license verification checks the authenticity of the product's license through product activation. An installation identifier is generated so that its authenticity can be validated in relationship to the type of license purchased.

Windows Logon Availability

Windows logon availability determines whether the Windows logon process is able to be completed successfully. The logon process is the interface between the account for a user, process, or service and the computer that establishes authenticated credentials for the account and allocates the appropriate system and network resources. Windows logon manages the use of the secure attention key (CTRL-ALT-DELETE) to initiate the login screen, load the user profile on logon, and lock the computer.

Windows Logon Switching

Windows logon switching controls the process by which the desktop is prepared and presented to different user accounts. Preparing the desktop includes assigning system and network resources, loading the startup program, and establishing user credentials and privilege level. 

Windows logon switching is handled by User Account Control when switching occurs between currently logged on user accounts.

Core Security