In the ever-evolving world of technology, Microsoft is taking a step forward in enhancing user security and convenience by introducing passkey support for all consumer accounts. This feature, first enabled in Windows 11 and now available across Windows, Android, and iOS platforms, allows Microsoft account holders to generate passkeys as an alternative to traditional passwords.

Passkeys are authentication methods that can be used to sign in to a Microsoft account without the need to repeatedly type a password. Users have the option to create a passkey using their face, fingerprint, PIN, or a security key on their devices. Built on WebAuthn technology, passkeys consist of two keys – one stored by the website or service and a private key stored on the user’s device for identity verification.

While the thought of storing passkeys on devices may raise concerns about security risks if a device is lost or broken, there are backup options available. Service providers supporting passkeys often offer additional authentication methods such as phone numbers, email addresses, or hardware security keys for added security. Apple, Google, and leading password managers like 1Password and Dashlane have already integrated support for passkeys, signaling a shift towards a passwordless future.

Vasu Jakkal, corporate vice president of Microsoft security, compliance, and identity, emphasizes the significance of passkeys in streamlining the sign-in process for Microsoft apps and services. With the growing momentum towards a passwordless future, Microsoft’s journey began with the introduction of Windows Hello authentication in Windows 10, followed by FIDO security key support in 2018.

Passkeys have now become the industry norm, with major tech giants like Apple, Google, and Microsoft integrating them into their platforms. Google reports that over 400 million accounts have already embraced passkeys, highlighting the widespread adoption and acceptance of this new authentication method.

As passkeys continue to gain traction in the tech industry, Microsoft’s move towards a passwordless future sets a precedent for other companies to follow suit. With the convenience of signing in without passwords and the added layer of security provided by passkeys, users are increasingly embracing this new era of authentication.

Passkeys represent a significant milestone in the journey towards a passwordless future, offering users a secure and seamless way to authenticate their identities across devices. By leveraging the power of passkeys, Microsoft and other technology companies are paving the way for a more secure and user-friendly authentication experience for all.


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