Recently, I read an article that says that Microsoft is going to use a better method than Gmail for authenticating into its webmail client, Outlook.com (formerly Hotmail). If you read the article, Microsoft never actually says that their security will be better than Gmail’s, rather:
That is the weakness of stronger security – passwords are simple for users to manage, even if they are insecure. But more complex methods suffer from lack of widespread use. The article goes on to quote a Google spokesperson that millions of their users have 2-step verification, and thousands more join every day. This sounds like a lot. but Hotmail and Gmail have something like 300 million users. 1% of 300 million is 3 million, which is millions. Both statements from both companies are correct.
My own take is that whatever replaces passwords has to be useful to the user and easy to deploy widely. Passwords have been around, in some form or another, for centuries. They will be hard to replace.