Microsoft is one step closer to fulfilling the passwordless Windows 10 dream, as the latest Windows 10 update will make it even easier to log into devices and online services without having to worry about passwords.
That’s because Microsoft’s Windows Hello has received FIDO2 certification, which means Hello biometrics and PINs are now seen as secure authenticators.
“FIDO2 is a set of standards that enables easy and secure logins to websites and applications via biometrics, mobile devices and/or FIDO Security Keys. FIDO2’s simpler login experiences are backed by strong cryptographic security that is far superior to passwords, protecting users from phishing, all forms of password theft and replay attacks,” the FIDO Alliance explained in a press release.
Microsoft said in its own announcement to mark the FIDO2 certification that “no one likes passwords (except hackers).”
“People don’t like passwords because we have to remember them,” Microsoft said. “As a result, we often create passwords that are easy to guess — which makes them the first target for hackers trying to access your computer or network at work.”
With Windows Hello, you’ll now be able to use facial authentication, fingerprints, or a PIN to “leave the world of passwords behind,” although, technically, you won’t drop the passwords for any of these devices or services anytime soon. But you won’t have to fill them in with each login.
You’ll have to update your Windows 10 computer to version 1903 to take advantage of the feature. What that means, in practice, is that browsers including Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox will support Windows Hello biometrics. Similarly, several of Microsoft’s own products, including Office 365, Skype, Xbox Live, and others will also authenticate users with Windows Hello rather than a password.