Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) for Windows Defender is a handy security tool that has helped Windows 10 be safer from attacks. However, until now it has been limited to the Windows 10 platform. Microsoft is changing that today and has announced ATP support for both Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.

Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection is Microsoft preventative security technology. It arrived on the cloud productivity suite in April. The company is now expanding it to more services within Office 365.

The solution is design to stop zero-day exploits before they can corrupt a machine. It is currently available in Office 365 Enterprise E5 and Office 365 Education A5, and it can also be used on Exchange and Office 365 subscription plans. In December, the company brought ATP to SharePoint, OneDrive, and Teams.

Now Microsoft is expanding the security suite to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 Specifically, the Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) components of ATP are coming to the older platforms. This section provides health and status management tools through the cloud.

EDR can be coupled with other antivirus programs or Microsoft’s own Windows Defender/System Center Endpoint Protection.

It is possible to argue this is a surprising move from Microsoft. The company wants businesses to update to Windows 10 as soon as possible. Providing interesting security tools to older Windows versions will make that migration process slower.

Distancing from Older Windows

Advanced Threat Protection as a Windows 10 exclusive makes the platform an enticing proposition. That’s probably why Microsoft has only moved EDR to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. It is unlikely the company will move other sections of ATP to legacy platforms, not unless it wants fewer differentiators.

The move also furthers Microsoft cloud integrations into older Windows builds. Of course, this fits with the cloud-first model the company operates under these days. However, it is worth remembering Windows 7 is in the twilight of its life cycle, with just two more years of support left.