Microsoft has announced that Windows 10 will be launched this summer, and will feature built-in biometric capabilities. The announcement was made at the Windows Hardware Engineering Community (WinHEC) summit by Windows executive VP Terry Myerson.
The biometric technology will be offered via Windows Hello, a biometric platform built in to Windows 10 that features fingerprint, face, and iris scanning modalities. The idea is to use this technology to replace passwords for users logging in to a range of connected applications, websites, and devices offered by partner hardware producers such as any OEM system integrating the Intel RealSense Technology F200 sensor. Windows Hello will store biometric data locally on whichever device has accessed it, and the company says that the data will be “shared with no one but you.”
Microsoft also revealed that Windows 10 will launch in conjunction with “a new version of Windows for small-footprint IoT devices”. There are few further details available on that offering, but if it does bring the biometric security of Windows Hello to the world of IoT, it could prove highly appealing in the market, given security experts’ concerns about the emerging security vulnerabilities associated with the IoT.
The company also unveiled a range of partnerships with major Chinese tech companies such as Qihu 360 and Tencent, with the aim of driving forward the adoption of Windows 10 in China, where older versions of Windows remain stubbornly popular. Two of the companies in question, Lenovo and Xiaomi, are well known in the smartphone market, and getting Windows 10 – along with Windows Hello – into their devices could also bring major security advancements to the world of mobile commerce and payment, where biometric security is dearly needed.
March 18, 2015 – by Alex Perala