Microsoft’s Windows Hello biometric, PIN, and hardware authentication system is slowly growing in popularity, according to a new report from Microsoft.
For those unaware, Windows Hello allows users to authenticate secure access to their devices, online accounts, web browsers, etc with a Windows Hello supported hardware such as FIDO keys, PINs, or biometric features such as iris scan support, fingerprint scanner, and facial recognition.
Windows Hello is essentially an alternative to passwords and Microsoft says it’s a more user friendly, secure and reliable than traditional logins using passwords.
According to a new report from Microsoft, the number of consumers using Windows Hello to sign in to Windows 10 instead of a password grew to 84.7 percent from 69.4 percent in 2019.
After posting this article, readers pointed out that the increasing usage of Windows Hello is likely due to Microsoft forcing the use of PINs when setting up a new user in Windows 10.
In addition to consumers, Windows Hello is also making inroads in the enterprise market.
Microsoft claims that the passwordless usage in Azure Active Directory is up by more than 50 percent as more users have switched to passwordless sign-in options like Microsoft Authenticator and FIDO2 security keys.
The growth is the result of the improvements made to Windows Hello with almost every big Windows 10 feature update, which encouraged more users to ditch traditional passwords.
The market share of Windows Hello is also expected to increase in 2020 and 2021, thanks to the new features added this year.
For example, the May 2020 Update, otherwise known as Windows 10 2004, added two new ways to use Windows Hello – Windows Hello in Safe mode and Microsoft account integration.
The Microsoft account integration allows users to use their face, fingerprint or PIN to log into their Microsoft accounts without manually typing the passwords.
Update 12/20/20: Updated article to clearly indicate that PINs are not biometric and added possible explanation for increased Windows Hello usage.