Microsoft was the first to ship support for Web Authentication preview in Microsoft Edge back in 2016. Web Authentication allows for a password-free authentication experience, enabling users to log into their accounts with Windows Hello face recognition, fingerprint scanner, and even physical security keys like the one Google launched just last week.
That was just a preview of the new Web Authentication APIs, though. Microsoft has been working with the FIDO Alliance and others in the industry to further develop the Web Authentication APIs, and they recently reached the Candidate Recommendation (CR) status in the World Wide Web Consortium (WC3). “This is a major step towards enabling practical, strong, privacy–preserving authentication on the Web,” said the WC3.
And now with Windows 10 version 1809, aka Redstone 5, Microsoft will be shipping the advanced Web Authentication support in Microsoft Edge. The company says its implementation of Web Authentication provides the “most complete” support for the technology to date, combined with support for a wider variety of authenticators than any other browser in the industry. Microsoft is also providing developers with an in-depth guide that will help them implement Web Authentication in their own web applications.
The complete support for Web Authentication in Microsoft Edge will be available later this year to the public once Microsoft officially ships Windows 10 version 1809. Web Authentication is a promising technology that could eventually put an end to passwords, though that’s going to years before major websites and platforms start making use of the Web Authentication APIs. Keep in mind: this technology is very new, and not all browsers even support the new APIs yet, so it will take a lot of time before mainstream websites start making use of the new tech.