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Windows 10 update pushes Microsoft closer to a password-free future

With the Windows 10 May update, Windows Hello earns FIDO2 certification.

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With its Windows 10 May 2019 update, Microsoft is getting one step closer to eliminating passwords. The company's Windows Hello has earned its FIDO2 certification -- an industry standard that deems Windows Hello a secure authenticator. Now, users running Windows 10 version 1903 will be able to login to devices, apps and online services using biometrics or PINs, rather than passwords.

This means, on Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft users will be able to login with facial-recognition and fingerprint sensors. The biometrics will grant users access to programs like Outlook.com, Office 365, Skype, Xbox Live on the PC and more. With more than 800 million active Windows 10 devices, the impact will be widespread.

This is the company's latest push to do away with passwords. "No one likes passwords (except hackers," Microsoft's Yogesh Mehta wrote in a blog post. Last month, the company revealed that password expiration policies are useless and removed them from its Windows 10 v1903 security baseline settings. Now, Microsoft is encouraging other companies and software developers to commit to a similar password-free approach.

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