Windows Advanced Threat Protection coming to Windows 7 and 8.1 this summer

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However, Windows Defender ATP will onyl be available for Windows 7 and 8.1 for customers who are in the process of moving to Windows 10.

Businesses who are now migrating to Windows 10 already have access to Windows Defender ATP, but to ensure all of their machines and users are protected from external attacks, they can use Windows Defender ATP on machines running Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 starting this Spring with the public preview.

Microsoft notes that while one of the main reasons cited for upgrading to Windows 10 is the improved security, there are still plenty of organizations that are still running slightly older operating systems.

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. Many businesses struggle to move their entire fleet to a new OS with legacy and bespoke applications often built or specifically configured to fit an OS. Microsoft says that it is the Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR) functionality that will make its way to Windows 7 and 8.1 at some point this summer. The release targets the users who are now in transition and still have at least Windows 7 devices in possession. It added that all detections and events are surfaced in Windows Defender Security Center, which is the cloud-based console for Windows Defender ATP. Windows 10 only recently surpassed the total market share of Windows 7, but in the enterprise space, Windows 7 is still far more common than Windows 10, as businesses tend to be slow to upgrade to new operating systems. This will be paired with either third-party antivirus for endpoint protection or Windows Defender/System Center Endpoint Protection.

If you are a current customer, a preview of this offering will arrive in the spring. We doubt Microsoft is too keen to keep providing support for its older versions of Windows unless it can extract some money out of users. At the same time, Microsoft also announced a new partner, called SentinelOne, which will integrate its Endpoint Protection Platform and its own EDR with Microsoft's Windows Defender ATP.

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