— Microsoft officials, from Chief Executive Satya
Nadella on down, have repeated the mantra that Windows
10 will bring a "more personal" computing
will be able sign in to the upcoming operating system
with their face, eyes or fingerprint, the company says.
new biometric scanning capability, dubbed Windows Hello,
will work on any Windows 10 smartphone, tablet or
personal computer that features the combination of
hardware to support it. Existing devices with
fingerprint scanners will be able to use the technology,
Microsoft user interface executive Joe Belfiore said in
a blog post.
Windows Hello, Microsoft is joining the roster of
companies, including rival Apple, that are rolling out
technology to make typed (and hack-able en masse)
hinted at the biometric capability during Microsoft’s
annual shareholders meeting in December, after a woman
in the audience asked the assembled executives when the
company would roll out tighter security that "that
has fingerprint, eye, some kind of identity where we do
not have to use 20 million passwords?"
said he was optimistic that image recognition would help
fix the password theft problem. "That’s something
that as we disclose and talk more about Windows 10 you
will hear more about it," he said then.
Windows Hello announcement comes hours before Microsoft
kicks off a long-dormant conference for hardware
manufacturers. WinHEC (formerly the Windows Hardware
Engineering Conference), gets under way this evening in
Shenzhen, China, after a six-year hiatus. From 1992 to
2008, the event was held annually in a variety of U.S.
rekindled conference’s move to Shenzhen, a major
technology manufacturing hub and financial center
adjacent to Hong Kong, is likely designed to spur
manufacturers to design better devices tailored for
Windows. Microsoft is counting on Chinese manufacturers
to roll out flashy hardware to highlight Windows 10 when
the operating system is released later this year.