With Windows 10, Microsoft is not only trying to bring the best of smartphones and PCs in a single operating system but also to offer customers a more secure working environment that would no longer be based just on a password.
As part of its efforts to make Windows 10 more secure, Microsoft joined a select group of companies, which includes Google and PayPal, to support the Fast Identification Online (FIDO) open standard and use alternative authentication methods based on third-party biometric readers.
This way, Windows 10 would step away from the traditional password and instead embrace the next-generation FIDO and offer users new authentication methods such as eye scanning.
Dustin Ingalls, group program manager at Microsoft, says that dropping the old password-based authentication system and embracing something that's more secure “is one of the great challenges that we face in online computing,” so supporting FIDO with the release of Windows 10 is the first step towards increased security.
“We are working alongside major industry partners to change the nature of authentication by developing specifications that define an open, scalable, interoperable set of mechanisms that supplant reliance on passwords to more securely authenticate users of online services,” he says.
Microsoft's upcoming operating system would thus migrate to authentication methods that are locally based and do not expose any kind of information online, making it harder to break into computers running Windows 10.
Fingerprint readers and eye scanners based on FIDO 2.0 are supposed to make all of these possible, and there are already several companies that are manufacturing such devices for a number of Google services.vWindows 10 is projected to see daylight in the fall of 2015, so until then, Microsoft has promised to improve collaboration with FIDO partners to make the upcoming operating system based more on localized authentication systems and less on passwords.