Microsoft is finally saying “sayonara” to passwords in the next major release of its Edge browser for Windows 10.
In a new preview version of Windows 10, Microsoft is moving to the Web Authentication protocol, which relies on biometrics rather than the old typed passwords. When it rolls out to Windows 10 users, the functionality will make it easy to log in to websites and authenticate transactions with facial or fingerprint recognition, via the Windows Hello platform.
Users will also be able to use physical FIDO2 security keys in tandem with a PIN or biometrics for an extra layer of security. Of course, the website in question will have to support Web Authentication too in order for the functionality to be available.
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The firm writes: “With Web Authentication, Microsoft Edge users can sign in with their face, fingerprint, PIN, or portable FIDO2 devices, leveraging strong public-key credentials instead of passwords. With Windows Hello face recognition, users can log in to sites that support Web Authentication in seconds, with just a glance.”
In the blog post, Microsoft slays the password, despite being well behind the likes of Firefox and Chrome in this department.
“Staying secure on the web is more important than ever. We trust web sites to process credit card numbers, save addresses and personal information, and even to handle sensitive records like medical information,” it says.
“All this data is protected by an ancient security model—the password. But passwords are difficult to remember, and are fundamentally insecure—often re-used, and vulnerable to phishing and cracking.”
Yes, Microsoft we know. Get to stepping and get this version of Edge out into the wild before that paltry 4% of market share shrinks to nothing. The feature is available in Windows 10 preview build 17723, which is available to Insiders now. There’s a good chance this will be part of the Fall Creators Update due this autumn.
Will this encourage you to give Microsoft Edge another crack? Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter.