Future Windows 10 users will just have to show their faces or irises when unlocking their devices. This is made possible by biometric authentication allowing new devices running Windows 10 to immediately recognize their owners simply through their faces or fingerprints. The cameras on Windows 10 devices will employ infrared technology to identify the face or iris in a variety of lighting conditions.
The new technology, called Windows Hello, was discussed onstage for the first time by Microsoft’s Executive Vice President of Operating Systems, Terry Myerson. He introduced Windows Hello during the Windows hardware Engineering Community or WinHec summit in Shenzhen, China.
Windows Hello will not just be more convenient for users; it will also be more secure.
The “system enables you to authenticate applications, enterprise content, and even certain online experiences without a password being stored on your device or in a network server at all,” Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President for Operating Systems Group, Joe Belfiore wrote.
“You – uniquely you – plus your device are the keys to your Windows experience, apps, data and even websites and services – not a random assortment of letters and numbers that are easily forgotten, hacked, or written down and pinned to a bulletin board. Modern sensors recognize your unique personal characteristics to sign-you-in on a supporting Windows 10 device,” Belfiore outlined.
Free Upgrade to Windows 10
In Shenzhen, Myerson announced that Windows 10 will be available in 190 countries and in 111 languages this summer. There will be a free upgrade for hundreds of millions of customers running Windows 7, windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 for the first year after Windows 10 is released.
The free upgrade is made possible through partnerships with world-class tech companies, Myerson said.
“Today, we shared new partnerships with several world-leading companies to deliver a seamless Windows 10 upgrade experience to our customers in China. Strategic partnerships with Lenovo, Tencent and Qihu 360 will help Windows 10 reach hundreds of millions of customers in China and spur adoption of Windows 10 worldwide.”
Myerson also mentioned a new program partnership with Xiaomi that involves testing Windows 10 prior to its release. Xiaomi will install Windows 10 to its devices and provide feedback to Microsoft to assure a seamless launch of the operating system later this year.