Microsoft Edge Adds “Web Authentication” Feature to Eliminate Passwords

It just gets more and more difficult to remember passwords. When we just had to remember passwords for a login and a few websites, there was no problem. But there are just too many websites and too many logins now to remember all those passwords. Microsoft Edge is stepping up, making it so we never have to remember passwords again with Web Authentication for Microsoft Edge.

We really have just too many passwords to remember. Just today so far I’ve already used fifteen accounts, each with a password. Luckily, I stay signed in to most of them and use Touch ID, so I didn’t have to sign in to them all. There was only one where I actually needed to input a password

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We need help with passwords. There are password managers where you only need to know one password. There are things such as Touch ID that I use that replace having to know a password with your fingerprint. We need help.

This is where Web Authentication comes in. Microsoft is working towards “a world without passwords.” It led them to creating this open standard for passwordless authentication.

They’ve been working on it since 2016 when they shipped a preview implementation of the Web Authentication API in Microsoft Edge, and they have continued to work on it.

With the newest build of the Microsoft Edge browser, they have implemented the most support for Web Authentication to date. It supports a wider variety of authenticators than other browsers, meaning instead of just supporting one or two ways to avoid passwords, it supports many.

Windows Hello uses biometrics, which includes face and fingerprint recognition, or a PIN number to authenticate without using a password to sign into Windows 10 devices.

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There are some websites that are not ready to implement a passwordless model, so Microsoft also uses external FIDO2 security keys to authenticate. FIDO U2F allows for a strong second factor in addition to a password.

Microsoft promises they’re “working with industry partners on the first passwordless experiences around the Web.” Other than just accessing websites, these APIs can also be used to approve payments.

If you’d like to get started with Web Authentication, Microsoft encourages you to get more information in the Web Authentication dev or install the Windows Insider Preview build 17723 or higher.

Microsoft says it’s working towards “a world without passwords,” but this has already been in the works on other operating systems. But Microsoft seems to have gathered all these other systems together to work together instead of having only one system to depend on.

It’s great that they’re implementing this. It’s surely helpful to Windows users, but are they a little late in getting to this step?

How do you feel about this step from Microsoft? Do you feel like it’s about time or do you think their method is revolutionary? Add your thoughts and concerns in the comments section below.

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