Windows 10 may be the first Windows operating system and platform to finally do away with passwords.

Microsoft announced Windows Hello on Tuesday, a new biometric security system that will let you sign into Windows 10 devices, PCs and phones, using your eyes, fingerprints and/or face, providing your devices have the right hardware.

“We want your devices to recognize you, to understand what you’re saying… we want the experience to go wherever you do and we want you to feel a great sense of TRUST as you go,” wrote Microsoft Operating Systems Group VP Joe Belfiore in a blog post announcing the new security feature.

Windows 10 will store your biometric signature locally and not on Microsoft’s servers or in the cloud. That’s because the biometric authentication is used to unlock the device. Microsoft calls Windows Hello “enterprise-grade” security and claims a less than 1-in-100,000 false accept rate. It will work with existing Microsoft accounts and, for businesses, Azure active directory. Windows Hello cannot, Microsoft claims, be spoofed by a photograph or selfie.


Microsoft demonstrates Windows Hello’s iris-scanning capabilities.

The company also unveiled a project code-named “Microsoft Passport,” a new development tool for IT, software and web site developers that will, in essence, allow them to build Windows 10 authentication into their applications, Web sites and services without the need for a password. Enabled systems will ask Windows 10 users to verify that they have the device, either by entering a PIN or by authenticating through Windows Hello’s biometric security.

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