Putting a date on the release of a preview product is not the norm for Microsoft but when it comes to the new Microsoft Authenticator App apparently they feel very confident that it will be ready for everyone on Aug. 15.
Microsoft has had the consumer based Authenticator app for Windows Phone 8/8.1 and Windows 10 Mobile for some time but its limited and is only able to authenticate consumer based Microsoft Accounts and that limits its usefulness in an Enterprise environment.
The current Authenticator app is used to provide a second factor of authentication when logging into a Microsoft Account from a new or different device. It helps to prove your identity by generating a random code on that secondary device that you have previously registered with your account. It is a great alternative to SMS in providing support for Two Factor Authentication.
Of course Enterprise customers need to the ability to validate work related accounts including those in school and work environments or for accounts on Microsoft Azure. For Azure accounts the Azure Authenticator has been available but it meant two tools to validate your work and personal Microsoft Accounts.
Well, the upcoming release of the new Microsoft Authenticator app will be available on Day 1 for mobile devices on Windows, iOS and Android. This new version will combine authentication for work, school, Azure and personal Microsoft Accounts into one app.
Here are the benefits of a single authentication app and its availability on all mobile platforms:
- User experience refresh. We’ve made the app experience incredibly simple while maintaining the highest level of security.
- Best in breed MFA experience through one-click push notifications. You only need to click the “approve” button in the notification to complete your login. (And in most cases, you won’t even need to open the app to complete the approval.)
- Support for wearables. You can use an Apple Watch or Samsung Gear device to approve MFA challenges.
- Finger prints instead of passcodes. We’ve added support finger print based approvals on both iPhone and Android.
- Certificate based authentication. Support for enterprise customers to sign in through certificates instead of passwords.
For those of you already using Azure Authenticator, this new version will arrive as an update to your app which means you retain all of your accounts that are already setup in the Azure Authenticator.
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