Lock folders with fingerprint security in Windows 8.1 as biometrics becomes “integral”

The upcoming 8.1 update to Windows 8 will offer improved fingerprint security – including the option to secure folders using a fingertip, as well as signing into Microsoft accounts and authenticating online payments.

An increasing number of  keyboards, mice and laptops will offer fingerprint readers built in, according to Microsoft executives speaking at Microsoft’s TechEd North America 2013.

Previous versions of Windows only offered support for fingerprint biometrics via third-party drivers and software, as reported by The Verge

The new 8.1 update – also known as “Blue” – will see fingerprint scanners used more widely in PC hardware. Speaking at Microsoft’s TechEd North America 2013, senior Microsoft product marketing manager Michael Niehaus said that the company was “working very closely” with several PC manufacturers to build in support for fingerprint authentication.

“We’re also working with this so that you can actually take folders and say this folder requires fingerprint access to get into – we are looking at different levels,” said Niehaus.  Fingerprint readers will also be available in keyboards and mice.”You’ll begin to see these be more pervasively available just to make it that much easier to log in to Windows,” said Microsoft’s Stephen Rose.

Microsoft showed off a fingerprint touch sensor working with the beta Windows 8.1 software – showing what was described as “touch and go” security for Windows and bank accounts. Card readers made by firms such as Fingerprint Cards will provide a “totally seamless” authentication experience, Microsoft claims.

“Fingerprint-based biometrics sensors will be an integral part of the Windows 8.1 user experience. They’ll provide enhanced security and the very best experience for verifying a user’s identity” said Dustin Ingalls, Partner Group Program Manager for Windows Security and Identity at Microsoft.

Author Rob Waugh, We Live Security

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