Windows 10 to Widely Support Fingerprint, Key Logins

John Lister's picture

Windows 10 will support a key standard for security measures designed as an alternative to the traditional password. It could make it easier to use methods such as fingerprint recognition or a "key-like" USB stick.

Microsoft has confirmed the operating system will support the Fast Identity Online (Fido) standards. That's an industry-wide specification supported by tech firms such as BlackBerry and Google and financial firms such as PayPal, Discover and Visa. (Source:

Fido isn't specific to any one device, but rather is a specification about the way computers process and recognize log-in methods. It's primarily based around biometric logins, which use individual physical characteristics such as fingerprints or iris (eye) scans as a way to prove a particular individual is trying to log-in.

USB 'Key' Also Supported

The Fido specifications also allow for a physical device to be used as a back-up or an additional level of security. The most common form is a special USB drive that acts like a key to a lock, and can even be housed on a key ring in some places. However, Fido also works with some wireless devices (such as smartphones) that could 'unlock' a computer without having to be physically inserted.

While Fido is designed mainly to boost security, it can also be used to make life easier. For example, Microsoft says it may be possible to use the same biometric login to not only unlock a Windows account, but to automatically log in to Microsoft services.

Though unconfirmed as yet, it's highly likely somebody logging into Windows 10 with a Fido biometric tool or key will be able to automatically sign in to other services, such as a Google account.

Remote Logins Could Get More Secure

The Windows 10 support will also cover access to remote services. For example, companies that allow people to work from home or on the road could make users log in with a fingerprint or eye scanner, rather than rely on passwords that could be guessed or stolen. (Source:

The announcement is likely to mean that more manufacturers will be working on biometric login gadgets, safe in the knowledge that they will work on Windows 10, a system that should be hugely popular right away given that it's a free upgrade for many users.

What's Your Opinion?

Will Windows 10 support for biometric and physical device logins spell the end of the password? Would you consider using a fingerprint or eye scan system to secure your PC? Do you prefer the sound of a physical "key" for unlocking a device?

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Dennis Faas's picture

The Microsoft Account app on Google Play has the ability to verify user accounts using smartphone / tablets and geographical location (using GPS inside the devices). I can see this app and ones similar being widely used in conjunction with biometric fingerprint readers to significantly reduce the number of accounts being hacked online. This is a very good idea.