Login to Windows 10 with your face, thanks to Windows Hello

The password is a remnant of a simpler Internet. Once a reasonably effective means to shield your various online accounts from unwanted intrusion, it’s become all but a smokescreen, a promise of security broken time and time again. That’s probably why technology behemoths like Twitter and Yahoo have launched crusades of their own against the password, but Microsoft is the largest yet to join the fray. Joe Belifore, corporate vice president of the operating systems group, took to the Windows Blog today to announce Windows Hello, a biometric authentication system bound for Windows 10 on phones, tablets, and PCs.

Windows Hello incorporates face, iris, and fingerprint detection into a single, unified replacement for pass codes. On devices with the requisite hardware, signing in to a Windows 10 machine will require no more than placing your digit on a fingerprint reader, or holding your face up to a webcam.

But unlike fallible mechanisms found on other platforms, Hello is leveraging technology like Intel’s RealSense 3D camera to defeat all but the most determined would-be infiltrators (current computers, which lack RealSense, won’t support face recognition). All biometric information is locked behind “enterprise-grade” security, encrypted asynchronously. In fact, Microsoft says Hello will meet the requirements of sectors like government, defense, financial, and health care, which require higher levels of security.

Related: We try Intel’s RealSense 3D camera at CES 2015

Hello goes beyond logins. With Passport, Microsoft hopes to replace the passwords you use for applications, websites, and intranet login with the aforementioned biometric data. Passport isn’t new – it’s a feature of Microsoft’s online accounts – but the company will soon open it to IT managers, developers, and web authors. Belifore says that Passport will eventually makes its way to “your favorite commerce sites, email and social networking services, financial institutions, business networks and more.”

Biometric hardware isn’t without its issues of its own, which is why Windows Hello will use PINs as a fallback. Divorcing ourselves of passwords entirely isn’t yet entirely feasible, it would seem. Still, Hello isn’t a bad start.

Computing

DirectX 12 support finally arrives on Windows 7 for World of Warcraft gamers

DirectX 12 support is finally arriving on Windows 7, and Microsoft announced that the first game to support the feature is World of Warcraft. Gamers will benefit from a boost in framerate after they install the latest patch.
Computing

Windows updates shouldn't cause problems, but if they do, here's how to fix them

Windows update not working? It's a more common problem than you might think. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot it and in this guide we'll break them down for you step by step.
Computing

Give your discs some extra life by watching DVDs and Blu-rays on Windows 10

Popped a disc into your Windows machine but feel lost without Media Center? You're not alone. But don't fret, with just a few tips you can learn how to watch DVDs and Blu-rays for free in Windows 10 in no time.
Computing

Enjoy Windows on a Chromebook with these great tips and tricks

If you want to push the functionality of your new Chromebook to another level, and Linux isn't really your deal, you can try installing Windows on a Chromebook. Here's how to do so in case you're looking to nab some Windows-only software.
Computing

USB4 will be the fastest and most uniform USB standard yet

USB4 is on the horizon and alongside a massive boost in speed it's also unifying with the Thunderbolt 3 standard to help finally create a singular wired connection protocol that all devices can enjoy.
Computing

The U.S. government plans to drop $500M on a ridiculously powerful supercomputer

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced plans to build a $500 million exascale supercomputer by 2021. The project, known as the Aurora supercomputer, is expected to boost research efforts in fields such as public health.
Product Review

4K and 144Hz? Yup, the Acer Predator XB3 will max out your gaming PC

The Predator XB3 isn’t for the faint of heart. But if you have a system that can push over 100 frames per second in 4K screen resolution, this monster of a monitor might be the perfect match for your overpowered gaming rig.
Buying Guides

Apple has powered up its iMac lineup, but which one should you opt for?

With new processors and graphics cards for both the 4K and 5K models, the iMac feels like a good option for creatives again. But which should you buy? Here's our guide to choosing the right Apple all-in-one for your needs.
Computing

HP spring sale: Save up to 58 percent on laptops, desktops, printers, and more

From now until March 23, the HP spring sale lets you take as much as 58 percent off of a huge range of laptops, desktop PCs, printers, and more, potentially saving you more than $1,000. We’ve rounded up a dozen of the best deals right…
Computing

Yes, Apple’s new iMacs look great, but they do have one glaring problem

With processors ranging up to the eight-core Core i9, the 2019 iMac update looks like a pretty solid upgrade to Apple's classic all-in-one. But hidden in the details of the product page, there's one outdated component Apple is holding onto.
Computing

Grab 1 terabyte of SSD storage for just $100 with this sale on Amazon

If you're looking for an excellent opportunity to pick up a 1TB SSD at a low price, Amazon has you covered with Samsung's 860 QVO 1TB 2.5-inch SATA III Internal SSD. It is an excellent offering for both multimedia enthusiasts and gamers.
Computing

The iMac finally got updated, but how does it compare to the Mac mini?

Apple announced a long-awaited update to the Mac mini. Thanks to the updated specs and increase in price, it's begun to creep up to the base model iMac. In this guide, we now put up the specs on the newest refreshed Mac mini against the…
Computing

Here's our guide to how to charge your laptop using a USB-C cable

Charging via USB-C is a great way to power up your laptop. It only takes one cable and you can use the same one for data as well as power -- perfect for new devices with limited port options.
Computing

Pinning websites to your taskbar is as easy as following these quick steps

Would you like to know how to pin a website to the taskbar in Windows 10 in order to use browser links like apps? Whichever browser you're using, it's easier than you might think. Here's how to get it done.