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Apple iPhone 6 users are now in the habit of unlocking their devices with use of a fingerprint scan, and specific laptop manufacturers offered fingerprint scanners in place of passwords long before that. But now Microsoft Corp. has announced it’s making all forms of biometric authentication more standard for consumers with Windows Hello for Windows 10.

Users of Windows 10 devices with the requisite hardware will be able to use their face, scan their fingerprint – or even their iris, and automatically sign in to Windows without need to type a password. In a blog posted yesterday on the official Windows blog, Joe Belfiore details the new set of biometric features in the upcoming operating system release, while being careful to assure users of “enterprise grade security” often.

  • Windows Hello will be compatible with any device that already has a fingerprint reader built into it. The facial and iris unlock feature will work with devices using the Intel RealSense 3D Camera (F200), and the feature uses infrared technology to make sure it’s really your face and not just a photo of you.
  • Passport is the codename Microsoft is using to describe the feature that lets you use your biometric signature to sign in to websites or apps. Microsoft will be working with with developers to enable this, meaning you don’t even need to have your password stored on a service’s servers.
  • Passport will also be supported by Azure Active Directory services (used by thousands of web services today). It also follows the FIDO alliance standards, which should ensure you’ll be able to use this to login to your bank’s online services and whatnot.
  • Your biometric information is never transmitted to the cloud, so you don’t need to worry about some hacker stealing your face (or the digital representation of it.)

Microsoft explains the new features in this video:

 

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  • Bill G

    What about the local copy of your face or fingerprint? Why does the reporting on this site just take the vendor marketing piece and slightly rewrite it.