Optimizing picture password security

We wanted to talk a bit more about the security of picture passwords in a follow up post based on some of your comments.  Jeff Johnson, the Director of Development for the User Experience team, is particularly interested in the math and security of this feature and authored this post on how to optimize the…

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Signing in with a picture password

Picture password is a new way to sign in to Windows 8 that is currently in the Developer Preview. Let’s go behind the scenes and see how secure this is and how it was built. One of the neat things about the availability of a touch screen is that it provides an opportunity to look…

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Protecting your digital identity

We live in a world of usernames, passwords, and PINs when it comes to using our computing devices connected to the Internet. These are very important elements of the digital economy and providing the infrastructure for these in Windows is serious business. This work starts with the most basic step of signing in to Windows,…

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Windows Store event and blog

Today at our Windows Store Preview event in San Francisco, Antoine Leblond revealed the business terms and app policies for anyone developing apps for our new Windows Store. He showed some of the great apps that will be available in the Store at Windows 8 Beta, and demonstrated the design, capabilities, and flexibility of the…

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Enabling large disks and large sectors in Windows 8

One of the most basic services provided by an OS is the file system, and Windows has one of the most advanced file systems of any operating system used broadly. In Windows 7 we improved things substantially in terms of reliability, management, and robustness (for example, automating completely the antiquated notion of "defrag"). In Windows…

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Improving the setup experience

Installing Windows is a complex operation that provides an incredibly unique capability—the ability to run a new version of Windows on a vast array of hardware configurations and combinations that were designed with no knowledge of a future Windows, even a version with substantial re-architecture of the Kernel. While most people do not experience the…

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Minimizing restarts after automatic updating in Windows Update

Before the Internet, updates such as service packs and "patches" were impossibly hard to come by. You ordered upgrade "media" or maybe bought a magazine with a CD in it. Of course, the Internet changed all that. In fact, when ftp.microsoft.com was first set up, among the first services was the ability to get updates…

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Building a power-smart general-purpose Windows

In this post, we look at the broad topic of developing an OS to reduce power consumption. We’ve seen an ever-increasing emphasis on power management in the OS from two perspectives. First, as Windows 8 comes to market, it is easy to see two-thirds of all PCs shipping as portable devices operating on batteries some…

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Updating live tiles without draining your battery

One thing that is becoming far more commonplace across all of our “screens” is the idea of lightweight notifications. Originally, Windows Gadgets were to offer this type of functionality—the idea is a quick heads up display for some critical information (news, weather, sports scores, or line of business events are a few examples). However, the…

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Using Task Manager with 64+ logical processors

Ryan Haveson, a group program manager on the User Experience team, wanted to update folks on some progress with Task Manager since the Windows Developer Preview. In this post you’ll find the updated Task Manager tools for managing systems with a large number of logical processors. This is scalability well beyond desktop PCs, and is…

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