Microsoft answer new Live log-in criticisms

Mike Halsey MVP
Aug 3, 2011
Updated • Aug 30, 2011

Last month Microsoft changed the default log-in experience on their Live services, which include Hotmail.  The change meant doing away with the tile you could click (that was also more finger-friendly) and the "Remember me" box and replacing them with a more 'traditional' text entry box for your username.

In order to make the system more secure you had to type your complete email address whenever you entered the services.  This caused a flood of complaints to the company from people who didn't want to have to type sometimes long and difficult email addresses whenever they wanted to log in.

Now Microsoft have come back with a response, first explaining why they made the change they did and also detailing how they've addressed the criticisms from users.

Over the past several years, we’ve received a lot of negative feedback on the old user tile login experience, from bugs to design flaws to the fact that it only worked only in IE.  For the recent change to “keep me signed in,” our goal was to simplify the options, ensure consistent behavior across browsers and platforms, and make it faster and easier for you to get straight into your inbox.

While the majority of people seem quite pleased with the change, we’ve heard via the Inside Windows Live blog and other places that some of you liked the user tiles and the “remember me” option and feel that something you loved has been taken away.

The change they've made is small but very significant, and if you want a more secure experience can be disabled by switching off the autocomplete function in your web browser.

The change we’ve made is to add an attribute to the email address input box on our login page. What this means is that if your browser has autocomplete enabled, the form will automatically fill previously entered email addresses for you as you type, or you can hit the down arrow on your keyboard to see the full list and select the account you want.

This new change means that the email address box will now remember past entries and bring up appropriate email addresses when you type the first, or the first few letters.  This is probably the behaviour that it should have and it will be welcomed by many.

The changes are being rolled out now, so don't expect everything to change overnight as it can take some time to update every server hosting the service when you're dealing with something this large that's used by hundreds of millions of people.

It's just a small change but one that will leave many wondering why Microsoft didn't do this to begin with.  The most obvious reason for making the change they did last month was to improve security for the service.  The change would have made no difference for people trying to hack into your email account from outside of your home or work space, but certainly made mobile devices such as tablets and laptops much more secure.

Microsoft's Live services had proved more resilient in recent years to those of rival Gmail, which has been repeatedly hacked by the Chinese government.  This is despite Microsoft being a much larger target for attack than any of their rivals, who are generally more popular.

It's good to see the Microsoft are taking security seriously, especially when your Live ID no longer just gets you access to your email and calendar, but also to sensitive documents stored in Skydrive and your Office 325 account too.  On this occasion they went to far in trying to protect their users, and it's great to see that they've rectified the situation.


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  1. Some Dude said on March 19, 2023 at 11:42 am

    Are these articles AI generated?

    Now the duplicates are more obvious.

    1. boris said on March 19, 2023 at 11:48 pm

      This is below AI generated crap. It is copy of Microsoft Help website article without any relevant supporting text. Anyway you can find this information on many pages.

  2. Paul(us) said on March 20, 2023 at 1:32 am

    Yes, but why post the exact same article under a different title twice on the same day (19 march 2023), by two different writers?
    1.) Excel Keyboard Shortcuts by Trevor Monteiro.
    2.) 70+ Excel Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows by Priyanka Monteiro

    Why oh why?

    1. Clairvaux said on September 6, 2023 at 11:30 am

      Yeah. Tell me more about “Priyanka Monteiro”. I’m dying to know. Indian-Portuguese bot ?

  3. John G. said on August 18, 2023 at 4:36 pm

    Probably they will announce that the taskbar will be placed at top, right or left, at your will.

    Special event by they is a special crap for us.

  4. yanta said on August 18, 2023 at 11:59 pm

    If it’s Microsoft, don’t buy it.
    Better brands at better prices elsewhere.

  5. John G. said on August 20, 2023 at 4:22 am

    All new articles have zero count comments. :S

  6. Anonymous said on September 5, 2023 at 7:48 am

    WTF? So, If I add one photo to 5 albums, will it count 5x on my storage?
    It does not make any sense… on google photos, we can add photo to multiple albums, and it does not generate any additional space usage

    I have O365 until end of this year, mostly for onedrive and probably will jump into google one

  7. St Albans Digital Printing Inc said on September 5, 2023 at 11:53 am

    Photo storage must be kept free because customers chose gadgets just for photos and photos only.

  8. Anonymous said on September 5, 2023 at 12:47 pm

    What a nonsense. Does it mean that albums are de facto folders with copies of our pictures?

    1. GG said on September 6, 2023 at 8:24 am

      Sounds exactly like the poor coding Microsoft is known for in non-critical areas i.e. non Windows Core/Office Core.

      I imagine a manager gave an employee the task to create the album feature with hardly any time so they just copied the folder feature with some cosmetic changes.

      And now that they discovered what poor management results in do they go back and do the album feature properly?

      Nope, just charge the customer twice.

      Sounds like a go-getter that needs to be promoted for increasing sales and managing underlings “efficiently”, said the next layer of middle management.

  9. d3x said on September 5, 2023 at 7:33 pm

    When will those comments get fixed? Was every editor here replaced by AI and no one even works on this site?

  10. Scroogled said on September 5, 2023 at 10:47 pm

    Instead of a software company, Microsoft is now a fraud company.

  11. ard said on September 7, 2023 at 4:59 pm

    For me this is proof that Microsoft has a back-door option into all accounts in their cloud.
    quote “…… as the MSA key allowed the hacker group access to virtually any cloud account at Microsoft…..”

    so this MSA key which is available to MS officers can give access to all accounts in MS cloud.This is the backdoor that MS has into the cloud accounts. Lucky I never got any relevant files of mine in their (MS) cloud.

  12. Andy Prough said on September 7, 2023 at 6:52 pm

    >”Now You: what is your theory?”

    That someone handed an employee a briefcase full of cash and the employee allowed them access to all their accounts and systems.

    Anything that requires 5-10 different coincidences to happen is highly unlikely. Occam’s razor.

  13. TelV said on September 8, 2023 at 12:04 pm

    Good reason to never login to your precious machine with a Microsoft a/c a.k.a. as the cloud.

  14. Anonymous said on September 18, 2023 at 1:23 pm

    The GAFAM are always very careless about our software automatically sending to them telemetry and crash dumps in our backs. It’s a reminder not to send them anything when it’s possible to opt out, and not to opt in, considering what they may contain. And there is irony in this carelessness biting them back, even if in that case they show that they are much more cautious when it’s their own data that is at stake.

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