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Microsoft planning to kill passwords starting with Windows 10S

12 February 2018

Microsoft has plans to make passwords a thing of the past starting off with the Windows 10 S, the next beta release version of which will not require passwords.

When the Windows 10S becomes official, passwords will not be required during installation setup of the operating system. The plan is in accordance with Microsoft's long-term goal of doing away with the use of the traditional security codes in favour of fresher measures.

Microsoft is increasing the use of biometric-based authenticators, facial scanning, and fingerprint sensor to protect users of the 10 S, the implementation of which will extend the regular Windows 10 OS version soon.

Further, the tech firm will also reportedly integrate mobile authentication and FIDO keys with its OS. The former involves the use of apps generating one-time use of pass codes, while the latter allows the use of secured USB drive for verification. It is not clear, though, when alternatives to passwords would be formally rolled out by Microsoft.

"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.

According to commentators, passwords are the bane of modern digital existence. Insecure passwords cause an estimated 80 per cent of breaches, according to a 2017 report from Verizon. Also, at a different level, they are paralysing due to the fact that they are so easy to forget.

Also, passwords are not adapting to the modern age. "It's quite clear to us, that the era of the password is passing. Based on the significant amount of accounts that now exist, it doesn't scale as a system," said William Beer, a principal at business management consultancy EY, reported.

According to Beer, the right way to kill the password is through education and not technology.

"We're putting all the focus on technology and not thinking about explaining to people," he was reported as saying. "I would suggest that while technology is great, it needs to be accompanied by a significant awareness campaign to explain and support users as they go through these changes."

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