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Microsoft begins testing new log-in experience in public preview

Image credit: Mary Jo Foley / ZDNet

Microsoft has started testing a new log-in experience for Azure AD and Microsoft accounts. Microsoft explains on its TechNet blog (opens in new tab) that the new design is now in public testing, allowing users to check out a redesigned sign-in UI meant to be consistent between both systems (via ZDNet).

Here's a look at what's changing, according to Microsoft:

  • Redesign of Azure AD & Microsoft account sign-in experiences: Azure AD & Microsoft account sign-in pages will both change to have a consistent look and feel, so you won't experience anymore jarring transitions when you move between the two.
  • Pagination of the Azure AD sign-in page: The new design prompts you to enter your username on the first screen followed by a credential (typically a password) on a second screen. We've done a lot of testing of this design and our telemetry shows that people are able to sign in with a notably higher success rate using this approach. It also sets us up to be able to easily introduce new forms of authentication like phone sign-in and certificate-based authentication.

Some users have reported the new design has started popping up for Microsoft accounts recently as part of an A/B test, and Microsoft confirms it has been rolling out over "the past few weeks." Today's post coincides with the changes arriving for the Azure AD sign-in page.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

11 Comments
  • Why is the new trend to hide the password field on the first page? Been like that for a while but it seems it stays that way. Gmail does it too. It sucks big.
  • I think, but am not sure, that it is because it sends you to different authentication servers depending on the username you put in (e.g., Office 365 vs. personal account).
  • But they could do that on the same, first page, via the same dialogue window, no?
  • What "x I'm tc" said is correct, but the main reasons are the ones cited in the article: "We've done a lot of testing of this design and our telemetry shows that people are able to sign in with a notably higher success rate using this approach. It also sets us up to be able to easily introduce new forms of authentication like phone sign-in and certificate-based authentication."
  • It's to confuse password managers and with that  convince you not to delete their cookies.
  • It had no effect on my password manager; it's still the same site, and password managers are (at least LastPass is) intelligent enough to recognise a password feld that is separate from a username one.
  • Most Built-ins in Browsers are not. Keypass-Plugin also can do it.
  • I just hit it and don't like new design. Why? Because after I input my MSA on the first page, it shows another page (different UI), with one blank textbox. I naturally think it was asking password, but after I input few characters, I noticed that it actually just had directed me from general login page to MSA login page, and still was asking me to input the same MSA account once again. There's no way to ask me to input the same account twice, and as you can see, it also means users may leak their password if someone else is around. Hopefully I just hit a bug instead and it was not by design, and would get fixed soon.
  • I like it. Noticed change of the background few days ago. Looks nice, does not cause any issues so far...
  • I got that new sign in page a week ago, and it looks very nice! I like the picture background instead of the plain white, a nice touch. 
  • Huge improvement! For a person who have 4 Office 365 accounts this one actually works! Previously it would flicker, let me constantly chose between work or personal account even when it should know it was work account, and make me fill in same passwords two times (sometimes). This one let me choose account and type password and login. No strange flickering. Makes me happy :)