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Posted on 31-03-2012
Filed Under (Windows 8 Password) by admin

One of the neat features that got me excited during the first Keynote that finally revealed what Windows 8 will look like is the picture password, a password that will get you sign into your computer without using a keyboard. That absolutely throws those key-loggers out of the window, whew, we finally got something that is simple and easy to use to ease the nerve every time when we type in our own passwords. It’s deadly easy to set up too.

The picture password was essentially designed for touch devices like Tablets but it works very well without it as well. This guide will show you how to set up the picture password in Windows 8.

How to Set Up The Picture Password in Windows 8

  1. First, go to Control Panel, and click on Users.
  2. Click on Create a picture password, you’ll be asked to confirm your password and the be presented with the welcome screen.
  3. The next step is to select Choose Pictureand you will then be brought to the picture explorer. You can choose any picture you like, it could be one stored locally on your machine, from your Facebook, Flickr or SkyDrive.
  4. Once you’ve selected your picture you can begin to set up the gestures. You need to draw 3 gestures on the picture, either circles, straight lines, and/or taps.
  5. Once you’ve successfully repeated the process one more time to confirm, Windows 8 will save it and set this as your password next time you log on.
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Microsoft already revealed more details on its picture password sign-in feature that will be native to Windows 8. The feature is more geared towards the tablet interface as it requires touchscreen functionality. It’s been available in the Windows 8 Developer Preview and now we get a more in-depth look at how secure it is and how it was built.

The picture password feature has two main steps to logging in. First, you must select a picture of your own instead of a stock image provided by Microsoft and then you will indicate a set of gestures in relation to points on the image that you would repeat to sign in.

These gestures will take into account the shape, the start and end points, as well as the directionality. However, the shapes and gestures are limited to tapping and tracing a line or circle. Microsoft found that limiting the gestures improved the speed of sign-ins by three times compared to allowing free form methods.

Incorrect gestures will always deny a login, but there is some tolerance. Five unsuccessful attempts will lock out the PC until you can log in with a plain text password. Picture password is provided as a login mechanism in addition to your text password, not as a replacement for it. You should be sure to have a good hint and use safeguarding mechanisms for your text password, which you can still always use to sign in.

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Posted on 31-03-2012
Filed Under (Windows 8 News) by admin

The Windows 8 Consumer Preview (Beta) has finally been unveiled to us today. Of course many of us have had the opportunity to play around with the Developer Preview of Windows 8 for a while now, but what’s new in the Consumer Preview?

As you’d expect Microsoft have worked hard to smooth out many of the bugs from the Developer Preview, in fact they’ve changed over 100,000 lines of code for the Consumer Preview. However not only have they gotten rid of most of those bugs, but they’ve added plenty of new features as well. Microsoft has said that the Consumer Preview is much closer to the final edition of Windows 8 which will ship later this year.

New Features In Windows 8 Beta:

  • Picture Password

    Microsoft have demonstrated the picture password feature in Windows 8 before, and they’ve also written an extensive blog post about, but they never actually included it in the developer preview. Obviously they didn’t feel that it was ready for us to play around with at the time. Microsoft have done extensive research into passwords as of late, and they even examined things like whether or not smudge marks on screens could give away passwords. They’re obviously confident enough with this feature now that it’s been included in the Consumer Preview.For those of you who aren’t familiar with the picture password, it serves as an alternative way to login, rather than just using a traditional password. Instead you can choose to have a picture password. It involves performing a series of gestures, drawing lines and tapping particular points on an image. You can make it as complex or simple as you like. If you get the sequence correct, Windows 8 unlocks.

  • Windows Store

    Microsoft spoke about the Windows store before, but it was never made available to the public until the consumer preview. Now we can browse around the Windows Store which has quite a large number of apps already. At the moment it only offers free apps, but in the future it will also have paid apps. What’s cool about the Windows Store is that you will be able to trial apps before committing to buying them.

    All you’ll need to access the Windows Store is a Windows Live ID. This will let you download all the brilliant apps that have been diligently designed by Microsoft’s college interns. There’s familiar titles like “Cut The Rope” as well as plenty of new games and apps.

  • New Apps

    The developer preview was pretty sparse when it came to apps. Microsoft really only had the bare essentials, but for the consumer preview they’ve added in plenty more. The apps in the developer preview were apparently designed by college interns, where as the ones in the consumer preview have been professionally developed.

    The list of apps includes Mail, Photos, Weather, Finance, Maps, People, Calendar, Video, Messaging, Games and Music. Of course there’s plenty more available now on the Windows Store as well.

  • Semantic Zoom

    This is another new feature to help you navigate through your apps. If you’ve a large number of apps installed it can be rather tedious to go through them all by scrolling from side to side. By pinching out you will activate “Semantic Zoom” which zooms way out so you can see all the apps at once and then select which one you want.

  • File Transfer

    Microsoft spoke about the new file transfer improvements that they were making in Windows 8, but never actually included them in the developer preview. However they have made their way into the consumer preview.

    Now when you are copying files you will get a fairly detailed display that includes graphs of the transfers progress, the speed its transferring at as well as the ability to pause the transfer and prioritize another one. It’s a great little feature which I’m sure will come in very handy.

No Start menu on Windows 8

Many Windows users began to despair and worry when they saw leaked screenshots from builds of Windows 8 that had no start button in them. Well it’s not gone really, just sort of hidden from view. To access that start menu (which has now become the Metro UI) you simply have to move your mouse to the bottom left corner of the screen and click on the little Start window that pops up. Alternatively you can press the Windows key on your keyboard.

Final Thoughts

Overall there’s plenty of new features in the consumer preview of Windows 8. The whole experience has been polished and refined a lot from the developer preview, but of course that is to be expected, this is a consumer preview after all. Microsoft have said that this build is much closer to what we will actually see Windows 8 shipping as towards the end of this year. If you’re a Windows fan, I highly recommend installing it and taking it on a test drive. The next step now is to wait for the first Release Candidate which will probably be sometime towards the end of the summer.

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