Microsoft wants to do away with traditional passwords for some of its programs, if a new move the company just made is to be believed.
The software giant has revealed that it will now support USB security keys, which allow Microsoft account users to log into their computers and accounts across devices without the need of a username or password. It may sound iffy, but it's real!
The passwords will support users from a litany of different products: Outlook, Office, OneDrive, Bing, Skype and Xbox Live, to name a few. As far as the different keys that will be supported, Microsoft will support those from well-known names like the FEITIAN Biopass or Yubikey, both of which typically retail for around $20 to $60.
Microsoft has some very strong opinions on passwords, it turns out, which has colored the decision behind offering this new option for users:
"Passwords are bad for the planet. They're bad for people. They're the easiest way for attackers to get in, and in the case of account takeovers, they're even a way to force people out," said Rob Lefferts, vice president of security at Microsoft.
With the variety of passwords people tend to use every day (the average user having over 100 when it comes to personal and work passwords combined), it can be hard to remember them all or keep things straight. They often look to programs like LastPass or other ways to organize them, which aren't always the most secure methods out there. With that in mind, Microsoft has been working toward a "passwordless future" that we could very well see come to fruition someday.
This could be the first step toward achieving that future, but it remains to be seen if people will want to adopt this new way of logging in, given how different it is from the norm.