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Windows 8 offers picture passwords

Software giant Microsoft has included a new password security feature for its next version of Windows computer operating system.

Windows 8 will include picture passwords that need users to tap, circle and touch images to unlock their devices.

Developed specifically to improve frustrating password input on touchscreen devices, the feature consists of performing specific gestures on a photo to unlock the computer.

Users can select an image from their picture collection and indicate a specific set of gestures they want to draw on it.

Gestures can include circling a person's head or tracing a link to join two points of the picture.

In a blog post, programme manager Zack Pace said: "The experience of signing in to your PC with touch has traditionally been a cumbersome one."

He added: "In a world with increasingly strict password requirements - with numbers, symbols, and capitalisation - it can take upwards of 30 seconds to enter a long, complex password on a touch keyboard."

The firm places a grid over the image, on which users can draw their pictures to create the password.

Mr Pace said: "To set up your picture password, you then place your gestures on the field we create. Individual points are defined by their coordinate (x,y) position on the grid."

Copyright Press Association 2011

 

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