Back in 2015, Microsoft introduced the Windows Hello feature for Windows 10 devices. Windows Hello brought support for biometric authentication – using your face, iris, or fingerprint to unlock your devices. Biometric authentication is much safer than traditional passwords. Over the past few years, Windows OEMs have started integrating Windows Hello systems in most of their devices.
Recently, Microsoft announced that the number of consumers using Windows Hello to sign in to Windows 10 devices instead of a password grew to 84.7 percent from 69.4 percent in 2019.
Microsoft also highlighted the growing acceptance of passwordless among enterprise organizations. Passwordless usage in Azure Active Directory grew more than 50 percent for Windows Hello for Business, passwordless phone sign-in with Microsoft Authenticator, and FIDO2 security keys. Also, there are more than 150 million total passwordless users across Azure Active Directory and Microsoft consumer accounts.
In November 2019 at Microsoft Ignite, we shared that more than 100 million people were already using Microsoft’s passwordless sign-in each month. In May of 2020, just in time for World Password Day, that number had already grown to more than 150 million people, and the use of biometrics to access work accounts is now almost double what it was then. We’ve drawn strength from our customers’ determination this year and are set to make passwordless access a reality for all our customers in 2021. – Alex Simons, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Identity Program Management