Microsoft is trying to kill the password, and it’s about time. This week, the company said the next test version of its stripped-down Windows 10 S operating system will strip out passwords as well, by default. If you go through setup as recommended, you’ll never get a password option.
But killing the password altogether will take more work and time — and the problem may get worse before it gets better.
Which is a shame. Passwords, we can surely agree, are the bane of modern digital existence. On a big-picture level, insecure passwords cause an estimated 80 percent of breaches, according to a 2017 report from Verizon. On a human level, they’re paralyzing; right when you need to access your utility bill, you can’t remember if you replaced the “a” with a 4 or an @ symbol. Or when, say, a missile alert has gone out to your entire state and you can’t find your password to give an all-clear.