Microsoft announces Windows Defender Security Solution support for Windows 7 and 8.1

It will also help enterprises where older computers can be brought under a uniform security management and administration tools, that are used for Windows 10 PCs.

In a surprise announcement, Microsoft said that its Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) security solution for enterprise customers will come to both Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and Windows 8.1, starting this summer.

Windows Defender ATP support for Windows 7 SP1 is somewhat of a surprise, considering Microsoft has been slowly but surely de-emphasizing Windows 7 support in the past few years. "We hear from our customers security is one of the biggest motivators for their move to Windows 10".

That's not to say that the older operating systems are set to gain the full benefit of ATP, however.

Defender ATP is a functionality suite that lets enterprises monitor their devices, proactively block exploits and log potential threats to the cloud. "With Windows 10 we built the most secure Windows ever, by hardening the platform itself and by developing Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) - a unified endpoint security platform that helps stop breaches", said Microsoft. Users will be able to see all detections and events across their Windows flavors in Windows Defender Security Center, the cloud-based console for Windows Defender ATP. The behavior-based EDR for Windows 7 and 8.1 will give customers better insights into threats on their endpoints. In an invite to the Windows Camera preview program, the company reportedly said, "You'll be one of the first to try out new features in the preview version of Camera, and your feedback will shape the future of the app".

According to Microsoft, Windows Defender ATP can be run alongside third-party antivirus solutions, but the company recommends using it alongside Windows Defender Antivirus. The decision to support Windows 7 comes in spite of that operating system having less than two years of support left; its extended support period ends in January 2020. SentinelOne will now add support for Defender ATP to its own Endpoint Protection Platform, further extending the reach of Microsoft's service.

Vanessa Coleman