The Windows 10 operating system is now available worldwide. Windows 7 and 8/8.1 users get to download it as a free upgrade, and it also comes preinstalled on a number of new tablets and PCs.
The operating system brings with it many new apps and features including the Cortana AI assistant, the Microsoft Edge browser, and an Xbox app. One of the most important new features of the OS is Windows Hello, a biometric security platform enabling multimodal authentication of users. It adheres to FIDO Alliance specifications, which guarantees a high level of security, and could help to further popularize biometric authentication as a more convenient and secure alternative to traditional password systems.
While there are currently only ten computers that are compatible with Windows Hello’s infrared-based facial recognition, hardware partners like HP have demonstrated considerable excitement over Windows 10’s security capabilities, and it seems likely that many more compatible products will arrive in the future. To its credit, Microsoft appears to really be placing a focus on the growing importance of digital security with Windows 10; in a press release announcing the OS’s launch, Microsoft asserts that it uses “built-in, enterprise-grade security, so customers can replace passwords with more secure options, protect corporate data and corporate identities, and run only the software they trust.”