MICROSOFT IS testing a version of Windows that does away with conventional passwords altogether.
Windows S, which was recently turned from a fully fledged OS to a Windows 10 mode, is planning to leverage the advances in alternatives to traditional passwords which abound in Windows 10 under the Windows Hello banner, to make the experience more secure.
Options in Build 17093 include mobile authentication, where a one-use code is generated by an app, and FIDO keys, such as those made my Yubico which allow a USB device to act as authentication. Biometric options include facial recognition and fingerprint scanning.
If the experiment is successful it may well end up on full versions of Windows too.
Microsoft is one of many companies that have been pushing to move into a ‘post password age'. We're all advised that we have to remember hundreds of passwords and make them all different in order to be completely secure. It's just not feasible, and so alternatives are constantly being sought.
Retina scanning is some way off, but add-on fingerprint scanners are becoming more common for devices that don't have them built in.
FIDO keys are an agreed standard that is rolling out to many sites across the web. They can be bought as USB A, USB C and thumbnails for permanent insertion (fnar). They can also be used with NFC for mobile.
Other new features in this Build include an HDR calibration tool to improve compatibility in more displays, a more honed eye control experience for those who struggle to use a mouse, an update Game bar that improves access to your recordings and toggle your webcam and mic.
Bluetooth has been debugged, there's a full-screen mode for the Edge browser if you like that sort of thing, and predictive text can now cope with multiple languages.
As ever, this one is for Insiders, either on the Fast Ring, or ‘Skip Ahead' opters. µ
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