Microsoft Tests Windows 10 Passwordless Logins With New Fast Ring Insider Build
Microsoft is rolling out a new Windows 10 test build to Windows Insiders in the Fast ring. The new build (18936) contains a few new noteworthy features, the most interesting of which is a passwordless login. Not every Windows Insider will see the setting, however, as Microsoft is limiting the roll out to a "small portion" of users in the early going.
Insiders can enable the feature by going to Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options and selecting On under Make your device passwordless.
"Enabling passwordless sign in will switch all Microsoft accounts on your Windows 10 device to modern authentication with Windows Hello Face, Fingerprint, or PIN. Don’t have Windows Hello set up yet? No problem! We’ll walk you through the setup experience on your next sign-in," Microsoft explains.
Microsoft contends that Windows Hello is more secure than using a password. The company's reasoning is explained in the video above, but the short of it is, a Windows Hello PIN is not stored in a server. Same goes for a Windows client—it does not keep a copy of a the PIN, so a compromised server or Windows client does not affect the Windows Hello PIN.
In addition to passwordless login, the new test build expands the availability of the phone screen feature to more PCs. This allows users to mirror an Android phone to a Windows 10 computer, and this build enables that capability on the Surface Laptop, Surface Laptop 2, Surface Pro 4, Surface Pro 5, Surface Pro 6, Surface Book, and Surface Book 2.
Finally, Microsoft also added an event box to the clock and calendar flyout. This effectively simplifies the process of creating new events and reminders, as shown above.
These features (along with the usual round of bug fixes and general improvements) are being tested as part of the 20H1 release due out early next year, and not the next major upgrade to Windows 10 that will arrive this fall. The more immediate 19H2 release is shaping up to be more akin to a Service Pack, compared to prior feature updates to Windows 10.