For decades, people have worked online with a password as a main source of user security. However, tech companies are now working towards leaving passwords behind for more personal authentication. With that in mind, Microsoft has announced users can now sign into Microsoft Accounts without a password.
To allow this and maintain user security, Microsoft is leveraging Windows Hello, while the feature only works in Microsoft Edge. Another way to login to your Microsoft Account without a password is through a FIDO2 device.
Tech giants are starting to turn away from passwords and users should follow them on the adventure. Not least because most people don't take password safety seriously. Many users either utilize the same password across service or have a password that is too easy to guess.
Microsoft says its password-free login launches this week for users running Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809). Users can login to their accounts on Outlook.com Skype, Office 365, Cortana, OneDrive, Edge, Xbox Live, Mixer, Bing, MSN, and Microsoft Store.
“This combination of ease of use, security and broad industry support is going to be transformational,” he said in a statement. “Every month, more than 800 million people use a Microsoft account to create, connect, and share from anywhere to Outlook, Office, OneDrive, Bing, Skype and Xbox Live for work and play. And now they can all benefit from this simple user experience and greatly improved security.”
As for compatibility with FIDO2 devices, Microsoft is embracing the nonprofit FIDO Alliance. The alliance pushes for the creation of a public multifactor authentication. This would include the Universal Authentication Framework (UAF) and Universal Second Factor (U2F) protocols.
“Password-less sign-in is a transformational change to how business users and consumers access devices and applications. It combines industry-best ease of use and security to create an experience people are going to love and hackers are going to hate,” Simons said. “FIDO2 is a key part of Microsoft's push to eliminate passwords and devices like the YubiKey 5 are a great example of how we're working with partners to make this transformation a reality.”