Microsoft Password Manager can be a game-changer. It has a trusted brand and no cost to lure in the users. But let’s check its real word usage.
5th February 2021 made life tough for all password manager companies. With the Microsoft Password Manager (MPM) launch, the users will have little incentive to take out their credit cards.
And I rejoiced since I’ve been looking for a Bitwarden alternative for quite some time. Not that I’m switching, it’s just to inform my readers, and a free alternative never hurts.
So, when I heard about Microsoft launching its password manager, I couldn’t wait but try.
Without any further wait, let’s jump to see how it stacks in day-to-day usage.
You won’t see this Password Manager separately–it’s integrated within the Microsoft authenticator.
But it can also act as a standalone application as a browser extension. To date, the browser extension is available only for Chrome and Chrome-based browsers like Microsoft Edge, Brave, Vivaldi, etc.
You can find the extension on the chrome web store–Microsoft Autofill.
After adding the extension, you’ll need a Microsoft Account to get started.
This is the extension dashboard:
I directly imported my passwords from Bitwarden. As of this writing, MPM can only import in CSV format which most password managers anyways support exporting in.
The password vault looks very simplistic in nature. You can uncover the password from the eye icon placed against each entry. In addition, it lets you edit, copy, and delete passwords from the three horizontal dots in the last column.
The easiest method to save passwords is to keep this extension installed while signing up for any service. Just click the save at the Save password pop-up.
Besides passwords, you can store credit cards (in the Payment Info tab) and addresses from the user dashboard.
It’s great that Microsoft has named this utility Microsoft Autofill (more on this later). Like most password managers, it accurately pops up whenever you try to sign in:
But when I loaded Facebook, Microsoft password Manager wasn’t able to detect the login page, and there was no autofill as well. On the other hand, Birwarden could (sitting beside the Microsoft Autofill) do better by suggesting my Facebook accounts to sign in.
I have tested it with various websites, but this issue remains specific to the Facebook login. Though not a deal-breaker, but big enough to mention.
Microsoft Password Manager: Verdict
It’s a great start by Microsoft. This password manager is coming from a big name with zero cost, which shifts significant odds in its favor.
That said, there is so much that remains desired. First, I couldn’t find any option to save a login without it capturing the signup process.
In addition, there is no password generator within the application.
Besides, MPM uses no such thing as a Master Password. So, anyone can use your password manager if you close your browser with that Microsoft account signed in. In contrast, Bitwarden asks for your master password whenever you exit your browser.
Conclusively, Microsoft Password Manager can be used as a secondary option and is a work in progress. And Microsoft was pin-point in naming this as Microsoft Autofill–because that’s what it is.
So my free favorite is still the very capable and feature-rich–Bitwarden!
On a side note, you can also check my Bitwarden vs 1Password.