Windows Hello has been a part of Microsoft’s platform for close to two years. The biometric authentication service has been shipping on devices since Windows 10 launched last year. However, despite its maturity, Windows Hello has remained in beta since its launch in 2015.
Microsoft is now pushing towards releasing the security measure fully. Windows Insider Program chief, Dona Sarkar, has asked for Insiders to use Windows Hello. More importantly, she wants them to provide feedback on whether the service is ready for full release.
The company is deciding whether to allow Hello to emerge from beta. Sarkar took to twitter to ask Insiders to provide feedback. Judging by the responses, users think the authenticator is indeed ready to be a full platform.
— Dona Sarkar at #AbilitySummit (@donasarkar) December 13, 2016
Certainly, the technology has improved significantly since it launched. Microsoft has added a number of new features to bolster Windows Hello. Some Insiders point out that the mobile version of Hello is not quite perfect. Whether this will have a bearing on a full release is unclear.
Windows Hello is a based on biometrics and the use of a user device, allowing users to sign in to a device or app with enterprise-grade security. With Passport’s closure, Hello will gain the credential features, giving the service two main aspects: Factor and Credential. With the Windows Anniversary Update, Microsoft brought Windows Hello to the Edge browser.
Until now Hello has used biometric authentication like fingerprint scanning, iris, and facial recognition. The device itself was needed as the second factor of validation, but in the Anniversary Update it will support devices, biometrics (as before), and PINs.
Biometrics will remain a major (chief) component of the Windows Hello service, but Microsoft Passport features will allow the authenticator, allowing two-step authentication tied to an account and across devices.
Also with the Anniversary Update, Microsoft folded its Passport service into Hello. This made the service the sole authenticator for Windows 10 PCs in a post Anniversary Update environment.
Other recent Hello additions include specific fingerprint scanning hardware. made by BIO-key International Inc. the devices will cost $39.99.