On Tuesday, Microsoft Inc has announced that they are introducing passwordless authentication as entered general availability in Azure Active Directory.
Microsoft’s all-new service will enable employees to replace their passwords with biometric logins. They will be able to do this with the help of Windows Hello for Business, compatible FIDO2, and authentication apps based on security keys from partners of the Microsoft Intelligent Security Association (MISA).
In a blog post, Alex Simons, Microsoft’s corporate VP of program management, wrote “Last year was a breakthrough year and the start of the movement to passwordless sign in. Today we’re announcing our passwordless solution is now generally available!”.
He added “Now organizations can rollout passwordless authentication across their hybrid environments at scale. Users get a familiar, simple to use authentication experience that offers industry-best security and works across an increasingly broad set of devices and services.”
The company has launched a public preview of passwordless authentication. In July 2019, they have featured it and based on the feedback received. They have also added a variety of new features which include password APIs, step-up authentication, to improve the usability, authentication methods management, and management of credentials.
Simons says “the management of credentials has now been merged in the Microsoft Authenticator app to enable admins to create one policy for both standard multi-factor authentication and passwordless authentication.”
According to Microsoft, nearly 200 million people are already using passwordless login for Microsoft services. That’s nearly 33% up from the 150 million people that were using passwordless login in May 2019.
According to Joy Chik, many users are still using their passwords as a login fallback for the Identity Division at Microsoft. But this will let the user remove their passwords and go passwordless.
On Tuesday, at the virtual Ignite 2021 conference, Microsoft also announced a public preview for Temporary Access Pass – a time-limited passcode that allows users to set up security keys and recover passwordless credentials.
On Tuesday, Microsoft also announced some new features for Outlook. This will help users manage their calendars and schedule tasks in aa better and easier ways. Users will be also able to better organize and manage their calendars, files, and to-do lists with the calendar board view in Outlook.