Is Google planning an integrated password management service?

September 17, 2012
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In a blog post today, Google’s Tim Bray lamented that instead of searching through Google, users will often go to a specific website to avoid the hassle of signing up or logging in with new services, and mentioned that Google may be working on a solution. Does this mean that an integrated Google password manager could be in the works?

In the blog post, titled ‘Less Pain, More Money,’ Bray says “Logging in is annoying and slows you down. My job these days is mostly about reducing that pain, ideally to zero by eliminating it.” He mentions the user frustrations with logging in and the significance of this issue, ending the post with “So if logging in gets simpler (or vanishes) we win and you win. It’s that simple.”

Services that make generating and managing secure passwords already exist — take 1Password and LastPass to name two, not to mention Google Chrome’s integrated but limited password management. These tools are useful but have their problems: 1Password costs $50, LastPass requires a $12/year subscription to enable all its features, and Google Chrome’s remembered passwords don’t do you any good if you’re using a different browser.

If Google were to introduce a system that worked like the above services but only required that you be logged in to your Google account, it could quickly gain the upper hand among password managers due to its ease of use.

Of course, this is all assuming that the solution Bray is talking about has anything to do with passwords at all. In another blog post back in June, Bray said that “Usernames and passwords generally suck and obviously don’t scale to the Internet, so we need to do away with ’em soonest.”

Would you use an integrated Google password manager? Or are you happy with your existing system?

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