Microsoft just published an online passwort checking tool on its website. The password checker can help you to gauge the strength of your password. I think they test the strength based on this rules:
A strong password should appear to be a random string of characters to an attacker. It should be 14 characters or longer, (eight characters or longer at a minimum). It should include a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
They also have some standard hints for a secure passwort available.
Why do I care? Because weak passworts on critical systems are a real PITA.
Please don’t use one of your real passworts with this tool, because the connection ist not encrypted ;-). They tell us
The security of the passwords entered into Password Checker is similar to the security of the password you enter when you log into Windows. The password is checked and validated on your computer, but is not sent over the Internet.
but you’ll never know 😉
PS: Microsoft has now a new favicon.ico for its security websites. Hmmm.