Microsoft has supported fingerprint readers and other biometric devices since the mid-90s through various third party software and drivers to log into Windows. With Windows 8.1 Microsoft hopes to improve this support more natively and will add the ability to lockdown down individual folders via fingerprint.
For years Microsoft has been trying to make it easier to log into Windows in ways other than a password. The ‘picture password’ and ‘pin’ were added with Windows 8. With the Kinect coming to Windows within a year, facial recognition and retinal scans may soon be possible. In the mean time, Microsoft is working with OEMs to take biometrics more mainstream.
According to the The Verge, “Swiping or touching a finger on a reader will allow Windows 8.1 to authenticate a finger against a Microsoft Account. Users will also be able to purchase applications using a fingerprint reader or login to apps.”
Michael Niehaus, a senior product marketing manager at Microsoft, says the company is “working very closely” with two to three manufacturers to build the support in. Perhaps the most interesting change is the folder support for fingerprints. “We’re also working with this so that you can actually take folders and say this folder requires fingerprint access to get into, so different levels that we’re looking at,” explained Niehaus during a Tech-Ed session on Monday.
Microsoft is also working with various OEMs to encourage them to add fingerprint readers into laptops, tablets, 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,” says Microsoft’s Stephen Rose.
So will you be locking down that secret folder of yours 😉 (With important documents of course *cough cough*)
Source: The Verge