Microsoft Defender is entering a new era as a unified cross-platform service covering Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. It is worth noting this is a new version of the Microsoft Defender cybersecurity suite that will run through Microsoft 365.
This also completes Microsoft’s vision for Defender which has gone back several years. Through the transition from Windows Defender to Microsoft Defender, the company has been targeting the suite as a cross-platform service.
Windows Defender became Microsoft Defender with the launch of Windows 10 20H1. Microsoft originally made the name change when Defender first became available on Apple’s Mac. It made little sense calling it Windows on Apple’s platform.
The new Microsoft Defender is for individual users (Microsoft Defender for Endpoint remains the enterprise version) who subscribe to Microsoft 365 Personal and Family. While the service will have a universal skin across all platforms, Microsoft says features will continue to differ from OS to OS.
For example, iOS does not get antivirus protection while macOS, Windows, and Android do. However, iOS does get web phishing protection tools. All platforms will have the same dashboard, which Microsoft says it has simplified.
Android will have the ability to scan for malicious apps, a feature not available on iOS. Furthermore, the Android version of Microsoft Defender will also get web phishing protection. On Windows, Defender will remain mostly the same in terms of features and will not replace the current Security app.
“The expansion of our security portfolio with Microsoft Defender for individuals is the natural and exciting progression in our journey as a security company,” says Vasu Jakkal, corporate vice president of Microsoft security. “This is just the start. As we look forward, we will continue to bring more protections together under a single dashboard, including features like identity theft protection and secure online connection.”
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