Microsoft Bringing Windows Defender ATP to Windows 7 and 8.1

Posted on February 12, 2018 by Mehedi Hassan in Windows, Windows 10, Windows 8.1 with 13 Comments

Microsoft is taking Windows Defender ATP, its intelligence-driven security analytics and protection service for businesses, to a new level by bringing it to older versions of Windows today. The company is bringing Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection with a new down-level Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR) system to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.

Businesses who are currently 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. The new solution will only be available to businesses that are moving to Windows 10, and not all businesses with Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 will be able to use it.

The new EDR solution built for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 will give businesses extensive monitoring tools that will help them protect their systems and network against external attacks, with the ability to respond to potential attacks rapidly. Businesses will be able to access all the reports, analytics, and other data using the cloud-based Windows Defender Security Center dashboard just like they can on Windows 10.

The arrival of Windows Defender ATP on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 is a big deal for a couple of reasons. A good portion of businesses using Windows are either running Windows 7 or are in the process of transitioning to Windows 10, and with the end of support for Windows 7 nearing, Windows Defender ATP will come in handy for large businesses where the migration process tends to be quite lengthy.

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Comments (17)

17 responses to “Microsoft Bringing Windows Defender ATP to Windows 7 and 8.1”

  1. Martin Pelletier

    I wished that this tech would also be available in non enterprise environnement.

  2. Stooks

    I read this as Windows 10 adoption is not going well in the Enterprise. At first this offering pushed Windows 10 adoption.


    Customers probably ignored it. Why would they want two solutions? Once for the Windows 10 in your environment (smaller percentage) and another product for the majority of you Windows clients. Answer no one wants two solutions, especially when we are talking about AV software, which is loved by NO ONE.


    So now they roll it out to Windows 7/8 so some customers will adopt it. Question is...too late?? I know at my company we ignored this as 3/4 of our Windows clients are still running Windows 7.

    • MikeGalos

      In reply to Stooks:

      If 3/4ths of your computers are using a product that's been out of mainstream support for three years now and has less than two years before it stops even getting security patches your IT management needs to get their act together. Quickly.

      • MikeGalos

        In reply to MikeGalos:

        As an FYI for those who don't track these things:


        Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 and Windows 8.1 are both in Extended Support. This means they only get security fixes. If you are using them you may not have compatibility with new products and should be planning or implementing your migration now.


        Windows 7 without Service Pack 1, Windows 8.0 and earlier versions of Windows are now unsupported. This means they don't get ANY patches or fixes including security fixes. These should not be used at all.


        Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 will become unsupported on January 14, 2020

        Windows 8.1 will become unsupported on January 10, 2023

      • Stooks

        In reply to MikeGalos:

        I am in networking so I do not work on the desktop team in our IT department.


        From meetings I have been in I was told the Windows 10 rollout was halted because of continuing issues with MDT. Well documented issues with MDT. We actually have a Microsoft support person in our building most days of the week, with their own cube, sometimes multiple people. Other issues are also ongoing in regards to locking the OS down. I logged into a Windows 10 computer (Enterprise versions only at our work) in a conference room back in December and I got a Spotify icon? It was the pre-install link type. Apparently this slips through from time to time with new users? (as in first time logging into a computer).


        Anyhow with all the issues my company is moving to the LTSB version. So all machines that currently have Windows 10 Enterprise will be getting the LTSB version first. Then the rollout for the rest of the company will kick in in 2019. My understanding is that the LTSB version is pretty stripped down and since it does not get the big updates, only security and critical updates. It is supposed to help with removing and keeping all the junk software that Enterprise version comes with.


        For what it is worth, our desktop support guys HATE Windows 10 but they have no other choice if they wan't to be supported past 2020.

  3. MikeGalos

    The Microsoft bashers here are both hilarious and predictable.


    Microsoft DROPPED support for Windows 7 and 8.1 in the next version of Office.

    Their analysis: Windows 10 isn't selling.


    Microsoft ADDED support for Windows 7 and 8.1 in Defender ATP.

    Their analysis: Windows 10 isn't selling.


    Meanwhile, Windows 10 is the second most popular operating system version for full computers in the world and is gaining market share every month.

    • Tony Barrett

      In reply to MikeGalos:

      MS are dropping support for 7 & 8.1 in the next version of Office as another attempt to try and force people to upgrade to 10, becuase they aren't, have no need to or don't want to.


      MS added support for Defender ATP to 7 and 8.1 because Win10 adoption has slowed to a crawl, and they probably don't want to support two different platforms anyway.


      For the lazy consumer running MS Security Essentials, maybe this make sense. I don't know any enterprise who out of choice would run Defender as their corporate solution anyway.

  4. skane2600

    There's an argument that can be made in favor of Microsoft focusing less on Windows and more on maximizing their presence in the application domain through the cloud and through support of other platforms. To a large extent, this appears to be their strategy.


    In light of that, it seems odd that the platforms they aren't interested in are prior versions of Windows. It seems likely that users of Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 are more interested in Microsoft applications than users of iOS and Android devices.


    I think any additional support for earlier versions of Windows is a positive thing.

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