In February 2018, Microsoft officials announced they planned to make the Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) available for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. The targeted delivery date for general availability on those platforms was summer 2018. On February 22, Microsoft officials blogged that Windows Defender ATP Endpoint Protection was now generally available for Windows 7 and 8.1.
What was the holdup? I’ve asked Microsoft for comment, but no word back yet. The February 22 blog post announcing availability noted that since public preview, Microsoft has been working with customer to “validate, finetune and refine the service.”
Here’s what we do know. Windows Defender ATP can help provide attack detection and investigation on supported Windows versions. Windows Defender ATP provides preventative protection; post-breach detection and automated investigation and response. In addition to Windows 10, the current list of supported Windows client versions now includes Windows 7 Service Pack (SP) 1 Enterprise; Windows 7 SP1 Pro; Windows 8.1 Enterprise and Windows 8.1 Pro.
Windows Defender ATP is built into Windows 10 Enterprise. Defender ATP is different from Windows Defender, Microsoft’s free antivirus service that’s bundled into various Windows versions. Defender ATP (codenamed “Seville” is a post-breach service, meant to help detect threats that have made it past other defenses, give users means to investigate breaches and offer suggested responses.
Starting with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, Microsoft officials began describing Windows Defender ATP as a suite of tools, which includes Defender Application Guard, Defender Device Guard, and Defender Antivirus.
Microsoft is planning to drop support for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020, but will continue to provide security updates for that version of Windows for three additional years for customers who purchase Extended Security Updates or purchase the still-as-yet-unavailable Windows Virtual Desktop service. Microsoft will charge users who want to buy Extended Security Updates per device and will charge those running Windows 7 Pro more than Windows 7 Enterprise.