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Microsoft Fingerprint Reader: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Microsoft Fingerprint Reader is a device sold by Microsoft that augments normal passwords with the fingerprint of a user for convenience. First released on September 4, 2004[1], the device requires Windows XP or Windows Vista x86 to run[2].



Microsoft Fingerprint Reader stores login names and passwords in an internal database located in the user's computer. When needed, the device interactively sends the login names and passwords to compatible applications and websites, which can be used to perform the login operation automatically. In information technology, biometrics is a form of identity access management and access control.

The device could be useful in an office or campus environment, where its use may prevent others from seeing logins and passwords being keyed in. It could also be useful on shared computers, where different users can authenticate their unique access to applications and sites.

The MS Fingerprint Reader works with Firefox using the FingerFox Add-on.


Sensors from leading manufacturers, such as AuthenTec, do not read the fingerprint image, so the software does not store an image. Storing an image weakens the security of biometric access. Instead, these electrical capacitance sensors scan the minute radio frequency (RF) pattern beneath the live skin of a finger pad. The pattern creates a unique algorithm to identify the user. Many popular laptops and keyboards have the RF strip sensors.

As of 27 May 2009, the Microsoft Fingerprint Reader still has no drivers for 64bit XP or Vista, even though the items that contain the fingerprint reader (Such as the IntelliMouse w/Fingerprint Reader) are listed as Vista x64 certified. Microsoft has no dates when drivers will be available. You will not be able to use the discontinued Microsoft Fingerprint Reader with Vista 64 bit or Windows 7 64 bit Operating Systems now or in the future according to Microsoft. Therefore to receive a full refund all you have to do is call Microsoft Supplemental Parts line (US only) at 1-800-360-7561. You will be asked to provide the unique PID # on the back of the unit and your mailing address so they can issue your refund check. Be aware, PID #'s are unique and will be used to confirm that a refund has not already been issued for your unit. [3] Ironically Linux is the only 64-bit system which supports the Microsoft Fingerprint Reader.

The software supplied causes delay in Vista's startup time because windows has to load the driver before a login is allowed using the biometric data. After Vista Service Pack 1, it seems the delay is almost gone.

See also


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