Why Microsoft is leading the march toward a passwordless future


Microsoft actually revealed the change with Preview Build 18305, but it was previously only available to Windows Insider Program members using Windows 10 Home, and Preview Build 18309 brings it to everyone.

Windows 10, the company's newest desktop operating system, is now the most popular in the world. Cortana is still alive and well in Home versions of Windows 10, meaning this will mainly benefit IT professionals who set up multiple machines at once.

If you don't already have a password-less phone number account, you can create one in a mobile app like Word on your iOS or Android device to try it out. While mainstream support ended January 13, 2015, extended support is expected to cease on January 14, 2020. It's now possible to create a Microsoft account that uses a one-time code delivered over SMS as its primary authenticator, rather than a conventional password. This same issue is suspected to also be the root cause resulting in some Insiders finding Start would reset back to default in the previous build.

The Narrator app that reads out text is also getting some improvements. Microsoft already confirmed a year ago that its Windows 10 OS version has been installed on 700 million devices including PCs, Xbox, tablets and phones. Instead, you will have to wait for it to finish talking instead of being able to just skip a certain part. Now lock the device and select your phone number account on the Windows sign-in screen.

Add more voices: Users can download additional voices in other languages without having to download language packs.

More news: Samsung super ultra-wide 49-inch CRG9 monitor
More news: Trump turns to 'Game of Thrones' to push for border wall
More news: Spacecraft beams back first images of most distant object explored by mankind

What will make enterprise admins (or at least those forced to occasionally perform a clean install of Windows 10 manually) happy is the blessed silencing of Cortana during Windows setup.

Actions in Narrator Home such as QuickStart and settings are now buttons, while a new "Narrator + 5 twice" command renders current character phonetics.

With the rise of biometric security in a number of fields, it's likely that other tech giants will eventually follow Microsoft's lead and eliminate traditional passwords in favor of face scans, fingerprints, tokens, or other options.

Other presents include accessibility improvements, a bunch of bug fixes and the list of known issues that accompanies every release.