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Microsoft to add biometric authentication support to Windows 10

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February 17, 2015

Earlier today, Microsoft said it will add biometric authentication support to its new Windows 10 operating system.

The news was expected by some, as the company revealed its intention to do so at the White House Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection, where group program manager for Windows security and identity Dustin Ingalls announced the company has “contributed design inputs to the Fast IDentity Online (FIDO) Alliance”.

Those contributions will make it into the second version of the FIDO specification.

To be sure, the FIDO Alliance aims “to address the lack of interoperability among strong authentication devices as well as the issues users face with creating and remembering multiple usernames and passwords.”

The group “plans to change the nature of authentication by developing new specifications that define an open, scalable and interoperable set of mechanisms that supplant reliance on passwords to securely authenticate users of various online services.”

Two new authentication methods are planned. Ingalls writes that Microsoft's work on FIDO has slipped into the current Windows 10 Technical preview, which allows logging in to “Windows 10 sign-in, Azure Active Directory, and access to major SaaS services like Office 365 Exchange Online, Salesforce, Citrix, Box, Concur and other services using an enterprise-grade two-factor authentication solution-– all without a password.”

Microsoft says that users and corporate IT people are going to enjoy FIDO in Windows 10 and with big security breaches now a just-about-weekly event it's difficult to argue with that assertion.

Source: Microsoft.

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