OK, then. Now I finally understand what’s up with the Store-based version of Windows Defender. It’s been “out there” for while now for Insiders. Called “Microsoft Defender for individuals,” it’s available to anyone with an active Microsoft 365 subscription. (Either Personal or Family subscriptions qualify.) That’s why I say “MS 365 brings new Defender aboard” in today’s title. The lead-in graphic shows the dashboard (in part) from my production Windows 10 desktop. Both “other devices” run Windows 11.
When MS 365 Brings New Defender Aboard, Then What?
According to MSPowerUser.com the tool is built on Microsoft Defender Endpoint technology. Thus, it brings the same cloud-based security to end users already available to Enterprise customers. A June 16 Microsoft Security blog post confirms this assertion. It describes this new Defender version as “an exciting step in our journey to bring security to all.” The tool works on Windows, iOS, Android, and macOS devices to provide family-wide protection across whole households.
MS explains Microsoft Defender for individuals as enabling the following capabilities (also including “continuous antivirus and anti-phishing protection for your data and devices”):
- Manage your security protections and view security protections for everyone in your family, from a single easy-to-use, centralized dashboard.
- View your existing antivirus protection (such as Norton or McAfee). Defender recognizes these protections within the dashboard.
- Extend Windows device protections to iOS, Android, and macOS devices for cross-platform malware protection on the devices you and your family use the most.
- Receive instant security alerts, resolution strategies, and expert tips to help keep your data and devices secure.
I’m giving it a try on my production PC which still runs Norton 360, along with a couple of my Defender-only test machines running Windows 11. Should be interesting to see how it all turns out! If you’d like to check it out for yourself and your devices (and your family’s, if applicable) visit the Microsoft 365 Defender page for a download link.