Microsoft is trying to make passwords obsolete, and it might succeed

Posted April 22, 2017

Microsoft today introduced its new to-do list app called Microsoft To-Do in a preview. You can create lists for various segments of your life like Work, a grocery list, a books to read list, etc. As far as I can tell this means that each day you start with a clean slate and the app suggests which tasks in your list would be good to make a start on today. Lists can also be assigned emoji to easily tell them apart, and of course will sync across whatever devices you're using To-Do on.

Yes, the company plans on retiring the widely popular task management app in the coming months, when it is confident that To-Do matches up to the standards of the audience. The most common way of dealing with this issue is to use a password manager package which stores your passwords in an encrypted format and fills them in as and when you need them; Microsoft's approach, however, is to do away with passwords altogether. To get access to the preview, users need Office 365 Home, Personal, Business Essentials, Business Premium or Enterprise E1, E3 and E5 subscriptions.

Ever since Microsoft's acquisition of Wunderlist back in 2015, the fate of the to-do app has been hanging in the balance.

If you already use the Microsoft Authenticator app for two-step verification, you can try this new feature by selecting the drop-down button on your account title and tapping "Enable phone sign-in". And now Microsoft believes they have an even better solution on offer in the form of another app named Microsoft To-Do. In its blog, Microsoft presented this as an easy way to manage lists, as these can be "just as hard to follows as they were to complete". As Microsoft explains it, you'll also be able to review to-do's from the day before as well as view what's due and other upcoming tasks, via this feature. Other plans include adding a "list sharing" feature (which is a "deal breaker" right now, according to Strant).

As is the case with a growing number of Microsoft applications and services, there's no standalone version of To-Do.

The new feature has been available for some time as part of a "soft launch", but the company has now announced that it is "generally available" for all users to enjoy.