Windows Hello Gets FIDO2 Certification, Cross-Browser Support

Using Windows Hello facial recognition. (Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft is taking a step towards ending the password with Windows Hello. The company announced at its Build developer conference in Seattle today that as of the Windows May 2019 Update, its secure login tech will be FIDO2-certified for passwordless logins.

Adherence to the FIDO2 specification will make millions of PCs - primarily laptops with Windows Hello facial and fingerprint recognition built in, but also any Windows 10 PC with a PIN - closer to ditching passwords. Instead, Windows Hello will let users log into supported apps and websites. 

At a technical keynote, Aashima Narula, principal group engineering manager for Microsoft Identity showed password free login with Windows Hello and authentication codes for personal and professional accounts. She said developers need to use no extra code to add this feature. Apps have to be registered with Microsoft Identity.

And you won’t be forced to use Microsoft’s Edge browser to get the benefits. The company said that once it’s ready on Edge for Windows 10, it will also support Mozilla Firefox and “other browsers.” Microsoft didn’t come out and say it will be ready for Chrome, but with Edge moving to Chromium, we think it’s a safe bet.

Firefox support will be available with the release of Firefox 66, with other browsers getting the option later in 2019, the company said.

Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Threads @FreedmanAE and Mastodon