MICROSOFT IS PUSHING its Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) subscription service into Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 for people too lazy or mad to upgrade to Windows 10.
The enterprise security service has previously been exclusive to Windows 10, presumably because Microsoft wants to encourage users to upgrade to the latest version of Windows. Given the boosted functionality and fresh but familiar user interface of Windows 10, we'd also expect people to make the upgrade.
However, people with multiple Windows machines, say operating a mini cryptocurrency mining operation or simply downloading epic amounts of porn, may find it a bit heavy on the wallet and admin time to shift all their machines to Windows 10.
So Microsoft is offering Windows Defender ATP to older operating systems to keep users safe from digital nasties like WannaCry ransomware. The package differs from the Windows 10 version in that it offers an all-in-one subscription service with a suite of components, ranging from anti-virus to intelligent security analysis.
"Security teams benefit from correlated alerts for known and unknown adversaries, additional threat intelligence, and a detailed machine timeline for further investigations and manual response options," said Rob Lefferts, partner director at Microsoft's Windows & Devices Group, Security & Enterprise.
Sound good right? Well, there's a catch. Would be users of the extended Windows Defender ATP service will need to be in the process of updating their IT estates or patchwork computer setups to Windows 10.
As such, it would appear that pushing Windows Defender ATP out to older but still capable Windows operating systems, by which we mean Windows 7, is but a security stop-gap to make it easier for companies with lots of different Windows versions to upgrade to Windows 10 without having panic attacks over security worries.
This might seem like a benevolent move by the folks at Redmond, but it's arguably a gateway drug to keep people hooked into the Windows ecosystem and on the upgrade path. 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.
Look its a cold, grey February day and we feeling cynical towards tech giants. µ
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