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Windows 10 Preview Build 18309 Silences Cortana and Extends Password-Free Accounts

Microsoft appears to have realized that people do not want to hear Cortana whenever they set up a Windows 10 device. Beginning with Windows 10 Preview Build 18309, Cortana will no longer guide users through the installation process on Pro, Enterprise, and Education editions of the operating system. This is a welcome change for anyone who routinely configures these systems.

Other notable additions to Preview Build 18309 revolve around security enhancements. The first update simplifies the process of resetting a Windows Hello PIN, which can be used instead of passwords to log in to Windows 10 devices. Microsoft revealed the change in Preview Build 18305, but it was only available to Windows Insider Program members using Windows 10 Home before Preview Build 18309. Preview Build 18309 makes it available to everyone.

With the expansion of password-free Microsoft accounts, Microsoft’s crusade against passwords continued. Instead of creating a Microsoft account with a username and password, you can simply enter your phone number and Microsoft will take care of the rest. Also introduced with Preview Build 18305, these accounts were previously exclusive to Windows 10 Home.

Microsoft and other tech companies have developed numerous password alternatives over the years. Smartphones paved the way for thumbprint scanners, which are now widespread on laptops as well. Additionally, enhanced facial recognition has enabled the development of Windows Hello and Apple’s Face ID.

The company has separated a concept that is familiar to many users — entering codes sent to their phones when they want to sign in — from the existing system. Currently, these one-time codes are employed most frequently as part of a two-factor authentication system, the first-factor being username-password combinations. Now, the password has been eliminated and one-time codes have taken precedence.

This does not imply that these password-free accounts will rely solely on one-time codes for authentication. Microsoft expects users to enter a one-time code and then access their devices using Windows Hello Face, Fingerprint, or a PIN. (Therefore, the simplified Windows Hello PIN reset “experience” that accompanies this modification.) The sign-in procedure is then handled by biometric security measures.

None of these alternatives to passwords is perfect. Prosthetics or, in some cases, even photographs of a person’s thumbprint or face can fool biometric security. Interception of one-time codes sent to mobile phones is possible during the transfer process or by anyone with physical access to the device. In the United States, passwords also enjoy stronger legal protections than biometric authentication methods.

Nonetheless, Microsoft will not rest until the password is dead, or at least less popular than it currently is. If disabling Cortana with Preview Build 18309 is a gift to professional Windows 10 users, then Microsoft’s expansion of password-free Microsoft accounts to all versions of Windows 10 is a gift to Microsoft. Other gifts include accessibility enhancements, several bug fixes, and a list of known issues that are included with every release.

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The above article was written by the BestTopReviewsOnline team, which consists of some of the most knowledgeable technical experts in the United States. Our team consists of highly regarded writers with vast experience in smartphones, computer components, technology apps, security, and photography, among other fields.

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