Why it matters: Will the traditional password eventually become a thing of the past? It’s starting to look that way after Microsoft gained official FIDO2 certification for its Windows Hello authentication system.
Microsoft has spent years calling for the death of the password, and it moved another step closer to that goal earlier this week. The FIDO2 certification will apply to Windows 10’s May update (version 1903), which arrives later this month. It also means any compatible device running Windows 10 will be FIDO2 certified out-of-the-box following the update.
Once certified, people will be able to use Windows Hello—which is found on many laptops with facial and fingerprint recognition systems, and can also be used with PINs—to access supported apps, online services, and networks.
“Our work with FIDO Alliance, W3C and contributions to FIDO2 standards have been a critical piece of Microsoft’s commitment to a world without passwords. Windows Hello was built to align with FIDO2 standards so it works with Microsoft cloud services and within heterogeneous environments. Today’s certification announcement brings this full circle, allowing organizations and websites to extend certified FIDO Authentication to over 800 million active Windows 10 devices,” said Yogesh Mehta, Principal Group Program Manager, Microsoft Corporation.
Windows 10 1903 FIDO2 certification will be found in multiple browsers. In addition to Microsoft’s Edge, users will be able to sign into FIDO-supported sites via the latest version of Mozilla Firefox. It’s also coming to Chromium-based Edge, so it will likely be supported on Chrome, too.
Back at Mobile World Congress, Google and FIDO announced that Android had been given certified support for the FIDO2 standard.
Despite the rise of password managers, millions of people still use terrible passwords such as 123465, which is partly why Microsoft and others want to get rid of them.