Passwords are necessary. They can prevent breaches to your account. But Microsoft is planning to make its personal computers passwordless. That is, they could work sans passwords.
For several months now, the company has been eliminating the need to input passwords from Microsoft Accounts and Windows 10. And soon, you can log in to your Microsoft account without a password.
This new feature is available to a small percentage of Insiders. Furthermore, it may not appear to all users in Settings. Microsoft recommends checking back in after a week if the said feature does not show yet.
How Will You Log In
If you are using a Windows 10 computer, you can log in sans a password through Hello Face authentication, PIN code or fingerprints. However, you need to opt into the new feature called “make your device passwordless.”
One of the reasons the company is enabling this feature is that passwords can be difficult to remember. That’s why most people are reusing the same password across every site and personal devices. There are other methods to protect your accounts but not all people are convinced to use them.
Why a PIN is Better
PIN is said to be better because it is assorted to the specific device. Without specific hardware, the PIN will be useless. However, if a person steals your password, he can log into your account from anywhere. But if that person steals your PIN, he must steal your device as well.
Furthermore, a PIN is local and specific to the device. Unlike a password, it is not transmitted and stored on the server. Then, it is backed by hardware. Microsoft’s Hello PIN is supported by a Trusted Platform Module chip. It is designed to perform cryptographic operations.
Microsoft is also convincing its Windows 10 users to enable this feature. This feature requires a separate Microsoft Authenticator app, physical security keys, and Windows Hello. The May 2019 update would allow you to sign in to your Microsoft account through a phone number.
In addition to passwordless feature, the company also announced a preview of FIDO2 security keys support in Azure Active Directory. Furthermore, the latest driver update enables previewing the phone screen feature to more PCs.
Then, you can create a quick event from the taskbar. With this update, it will now be easier for you to add new events and create new reminders. All Insiders in the Fast ring could see this feature when clicking on the date in the taskbar.
The passwordless feature may be beneficial. But it has its own cons. Some people have been locked out of their devices because they use two-factor authentication. Most 2FA options are tied to SMS messages. Problems can arise. For instance, if you are in another country and using a different number, you cannot get the message.
It may also annoy other users who simply want to use their passwords and not a PIN. Thankfully, they can opt in or out of this feature. It is their choice.