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Microsoft Wants To Put An End To Passwords Once And For All

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Microsoft will not include password use as default requirement for the next test release of Windows 10 S, indicating of the company’s plan to kill passwords in favor of biometrics and other form of authentication.  ( Drew Angerer | Getty Images )

Microsoft plans to make passwords obsolete starting off with the Windows 10 S, the next beta release version of which will not require the aging security tool anymore.

When the Windows 10 S becomes official, there will be no default requirement for passwords during installation setup of the operating system. The plan is in accordance with Microsoft’s long-term goal of eventually bumping off the use of the traditional security codes in favor of fresher measures.

Instead of passwords, the Windows maker is ramping up on the use of biometric-based authenticators, facial scanning, and fingerprint sensor to protect users of the 10 S, the implementation of which is likely to extend the regular Windows 10 OS version soon.

Also, the tech firm will reportedly integrate mobile authentication and FIDO keys with its OS. The former involves the use of apps that generate one-time use of pass codes, and the latter allows the use of secured USB drive for verification. It’s unclear, however, when the alternatives to the passwords will be formally rolled out by Microsoft.

A Time To Kill

It appears Microsoft is convinced passwords have long outlived their usefulness. The company, in fact, has been gradually turning away from passwords, the most telling sign of its intent was the introduction of facial recognition on Windows 10 a few years back.

With Windows 10 S, Microsoft has made clear that use of passwords will be relegated to just an option, and the move seems to point to a future where passwords will be no more.

“This relic from the early days of computing has long outlived its usefulness, and certainly, its ability to keep criminals at bay,” the company declared in a recent blog post.

Passwords Not Dying Out Soon

Truth be told, the case against password use is valid and strong. One big turn-off is the difficulty of creating the perfect code, perfectly defined as hard to crack but easy to remember. It gets further complicated when one has to come up with a new set of codes for every account as using the same authentication for all active accounts is next to inviting a security breach.

In this regard, passwords do not make the grade, as overwhelmed users mostly resort to replication of password use. As a result, they leave open a door for hackers to exploit.

However, and despite the glaring weaknesses attributed to them, passwords aren’t going out anytime soon. The best-case scenario is the continued use until a better alternative takes full shape. Meanwhile, tech firms and other stakeholders will do well to educate users on the optimal use of passwords until such time the technology is ready to exit.

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