Earlier this year, we gave you a sneak peek at one of the new Windows Live ID features in Wave 4 – Single-use codes. As mentioned in our interview with Ryan Gavin and Walter Harp back in January this year, Windows Live ID is set to have additional security features, and we now know that besides single-use codes, another feature is “account proofs”, and here’s Microsoft’s description of this new feature:
Account proofs The new Windows Live encourages you to increase the security of your account by adding what we call “proofs” — information you can privately associate with your Windows Live account. Proofs can help you recover access to and control over an account that someone has taken from you, a risk confronting all public webmail services since hijacking scams aren’t technology-dependent. To date, Windows Live ID has enabled you to set two different kinds of proofs to regain control of your account if you’ve forgotten your password or if someone has stolen your account: an alternate email address and a secret question-secret answer combination (e.g., “What was the name of your first pet?”). The new security platform elements we’ve built up around Windows Live ID now enable you to use your cell phone or personal PC as proof of account ownership. If you lose your password or, worse, if your account gets compromised, we can now send you an account recapture code via an SMS message or enable you to regain access to your account if we recognize that you are using a computer that you’re registered with us.
If you read the text closely, you would’ve noticed that your PC, cell phone, or just your “devices” in general can be used as proof of account ownership. As mentioned by Jamie Thomson, in order for this to work, your device must have been registered with Windows Live ID in the first place, Windows Live Devices appears to be the perfect service to achieve this linkage. Stay tuned for more information about Windows Live Wave 4!