Microsoft Plans to Say Hello to Your Windows 10 Passwords

By pratima, Gaea News Network
Wednesday, March 18, 2015

With Windows Hello, users can scan their face, iris or fingerprint to verify identity and access their devices.

With Windows Hello, users can scan their face, iris or fingerprint to verify identity and access their devices.

Microsoft announced yesterday two components of Windows 10, its next operating system, that will help users log into both hardware and digital services. Windows 10 will support Fast Identity Online (FIDO) 2.0 specification.

Microsoft will introduce an automatic biometric sign-in option with its Windows 10 operating system due out later this year, the first time it has offered such a service widely across devices.

The feature, called Windows Hello, will allow users with machines that have the required hardware to log into their computing device using their face, eyes, or fingerprint. Not all machines will run Windows Hello. Microsoft noted in a blog post that computers that already sport fingerprint scanners will be supported, and that it is “excited to announce” that computers built by partners that incorporate existing Intel technology - its RealSense F200 camera - will support the iris and face-based sign-in features.

Interestingly, Microsoft claims that Hello contains “enterprise-grade security.” User’s biometric data would be stored locally on the device and kept anonymous to make sure personal data is safe from hackers.

Next up is Passport, a new set of programming tools that allow Windows 10 to “authenticate” to various digital services such as applications that a user is who they claim. And as Windows 10 is vouching for your person, no password has to trade hands, which keeps a user’s passwords more secure. Passport proves a user’s identity either through a device-based PIN or Windows Hello.

You will be able to log into Windows 10 by staring at your computer, which will also unlock a number of online services and applications.

Windows Hello is the latest effort from Microsoft to make its products more amenable to natural interaction with users, following its Kinect motion sensor for the Xbox game console and its Cortana personal assistant on Windows phones, a rival to Apple’s Siri.

Fewer passwords? Why this matters? The call to kill passwords with a better authentication solution have been ongoing for some time. FIDO appears to be the best chance for a one-size fits all solution to password-less authentication. The FIDO Alliance includes many major tech companies and other businesses with a big interest in security, including Arm, Bank of America, Google, Lenovo, Mastercard, PayPal, and Visa. Microsoft joined the FIDO Alliance in late 2013. When heavy hitters work together on problems like this the end result tends to be a near-universal solution - an absolute must if FIDO is to truly replace the password.

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