Microsoft Details Picture Passwords for Windows 8

When Microsoft annouced Windows 8, they showed off a number of really cool and awesome features that focused on the mobile side of things. Showing how finger friendly Windows 8 would be and how agile and fast it would be. Today, Microsoft detailed their alternative login feature – picture password. This is something that many of us have used, thanks to third party apps, back in the Windows Mobile days. The basic idea is that you would make a gesture over an image. If the gesture matched, then you would be granted access to the device.

In the post made on Building Windows 8 MSDN blog, they cover off all the security and behind the scenes details on how secure this really is in comparison to a simple pin code. And if for any reason, you just can’t seem to login with the picture password, you can always revert back to a regular text style password. This is the same way the finger swipe and facial recgonition applications do it today. Based on the blog post from Microsoft, the number of possible combinations for a 5 gesture picture password is over 398 Trillion.

When creating your gestures, you can do a circle, a line, and a tap. When unlocking the device, you have to preform the same gestures, in the same order and in the same direction in order for Windows 8 to unlock the device. For all the deep geeky details of how this is implmented and the calulations around security of gestures, check out the blog post. If you’re just looking for a quick view of how this is going to work, scroll to the bottom and check out the Building Windows 8 video.

I’m pretty excited about this, and can’t wait to try it out – hopefully it will appear on my Windows Phone someday too. :)

About Mike Temporale

Mike Temporale has written 614 posts on Mobile Jaw..

Mike Temporale grew up fascinated by computers since an early age. His first hands on with a computer came when he was 7 years old and a travelling lab of Commodore PET computers made a stop at his school. Hooked on the new world these devices offered, he took any chance possible to get in front of a computer. When Compaq launched the iPaq 3600, he was hooked again. This time on a whole new world of mobile computing. Today, Mike spends his day helping clients deploy and manage their mobile device around the world. From installing custom software, to locking and securing data, and everything in between. He is also the Editor in Chief at Mobile Jaw - a site focused on today's mobile world.

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  • Suresh Babu

    Interesting! Your updates are so precise that it makes me check Mobile Jaw everyday. The Window Phone 8 is promised to have 500 innovative apps that are going to make you want to own a WP. Thanks for the update Mike!