It seems that in Windows 8, they are wishing to greatly expand and update what the Credential Manager can do. For those who don’t know, the CM is a program in Windows 7 used to store password information and data when you go to various places online, for example.
This means you don’t have to memorize a million different passwords, and Windows handles them automatically for you.
Both IE 10 and Windows Metro will let users store and access account names/passwords for all websites and apps they use.
The best part about Windows 8, though is that with Windows Live IDs it is possible to store all basic setting information for Windows 8 into a Live account.
This means that even logging into a remote PC with your LIVE ID will give you access to many personalized settings, including your multiple passwords for apps and web-pages. The Windows Developer blog goes into a much deeper explanation and is a really good read that I highly recommend. We also have another great Windows8update article about this topic, here.
I’m not going to go into tons of details about the improvements because our own Onuora Amobi has graciously done this in a previous post.
What I want to focus on instead is getting the opinions of our users out there. Do you really trust any type of password manager out there? Microsoft’s effort certainly looks like one of the best options for Windows (there are also managers through Google Chrome, and etc), but do you actually feel comfortable letting your passwords store somewhere remotely on your OS?
Many malware exploits have existed in the past to get to these passwords, will things be any different in Windows 8? I did a quick search for malware targeting the Credential Manager but nothing came up, though this doesn’t mean something like this doesn’t exist.
Call me a bit paranoid and old fashioned, but I honestly prefer to individually type each password and not save them. I just don’t know how well I can trust that saved password information is really kept safe. Again, I know a hacker could even get password information without me saving if they were so inclined, so maybe this kind of paranoia is not really doing many any good.
I’m sure that the shear convenience of using a Windows LIVE account and having all my settings follow me will end up changing my mind and having me store my passwords, though.
The bigger picture I want to take a look at though is security in Windows 8, in general. With new password managers, an improved version of Defender that comes with antivirus, and new ways to login (gestures), is Windows 8 shaping up to be the most secure version ever?
I remember in the past, how fun it was to show people I could easily get past their XP passwords by going into “Safe Mode” and then basically deleting the password from there, restarting, and having full access. My friends/family were shocked that it was that easy. Things have certainly gotten better in the last few years, but how much better?
What do you think of Microsoft’s newest security implementations for Windows 8? Additionally, how to you feel about storing your passwords with their improved system, do you feel safe enough doing it? I honestly think that Windows 8’s security is some of the best we’ve ever seen in a mainstream Windows product, and likely I will finally leave my paranoia behind and use Windows LIVE to make my life easier.
What does everyone else think? Share your thoughts below!