Microsoft has joined the FIDO Alliance, an industry group attempting to craft industry standards that reduce reliance on passwords, long regarded as a weak point in Web security.
Launched in July 2012, FIDO, which stands for Fast IDentity Online, is hoping its specifications for security devices and browser plugins will be widely adopted across the technology industry.
Such efforts depend on voluntary adoption by many companies and organizations. So far, those participating in FIDO include heavyweights Google, MasterCard, Lenovo, Infineon, LG Electronics and a variety of smaller companies.
Authentication hardware and software widely varies, with many proprietary clients and protocols. FIDO hopes that standardizing authentication technologies will lead to better interoperability and innovations in biometrics, PINs (personal identification numbers) and secondary authentication technologies, according to its website.