Windows Hello Gets FIDO2 Certification As Passwords Edge Closer To Extinction

Google announced in February that it had added FIDO2 compliance to Android, edging users closer to never needing a password again. Microsoft has now announced that Windows Hello has been FIDO2 certified. Microsoft says that Windows Hello has been letting Windows 10 users sign into devices with biometrics or a PIN with no passworded needed since 2015.

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In November 2018, Microsoft launched the ability to use Hello or a FIDO2 security key to securely sign into a user's Microsoft Account on the web with no password needed. Today the Fido Alliance announced that the upcoming Windows 10 May 2019 Update (version 1903) will make Windows Hello a FIDO2 Certified authenticator.

With that capability, developers can leverage standards-based protocols and devices to give users easier authentication for online services. It will work on both mobile and desktop environments. Microsoft says that it is working closely with other FIDO Alliance members to enable passwordless logins for websites that support FIDO2 authentication.

The software giant says that every month over 800 million people use a Microsoft account to access email, play a game, or access files in the cloud. In addition to FIDO2 certification, the Windows 10 May 2019 Update will allow users of the latest version of Firefox to log into Microsoft accounts or other FIDO supporting websites. Microsoft says that Chromium-based browsers like Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge on Chromium will get the same capability soon.

Microsoft is encouraging businesses to start supporting FIDO2 compliant security keys for logging into an account. Microsoft Authenticator can also be used to authenticate Microsoft accounts using an app running on a smartphone. Authenticator is built on technology that is similar to Windows Hello. The software giant says it will continue to invest in this space.

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