Breaking news: Microsoft is rebranding Windows Defender to Microsoft Defender.
Well, not really.
Back in March, Microsoft renamed Windows Defender ATP (Advanced Threat Protection) to Microsoft Defender ATP. The company brought Microsoft Defender ATP to the Mac, so it made sense to ditch the Windows branding. And now, that same branding could be coming to Windows Defender everywhere.
In the latest builds of Windows 10 20H1, Microsoft has quietly started introducing the Microsoft Defender branding. In places like the Group Policy editor, Microsoft has multiple mentions of Microsoft Defender with things like Microsoft Defender Antivirus, Microsoft Defender Exploit Guard, etc, as reported by German site Deskmodder.
Even the Windows Security app in Windows 10 has a couple of mentions of the new Microsoft Defender branding, though there are still some places where it’s referred to as Windows Defender. The rollout of the branding is obviously incomplete, and Microsoft is yet to officially confirm the rebranding.
The new branding isn’t going to be limited to Windows 10, though. In the latest Insider builds of the new Microsoft Edge, the Windows Defender SmartScreen has been renamed to Microsoft Defender SmartScreen as well.
Although the rebranding is kind of minor, it could be part of something much bigger. Microsoft ditching the Windows branding from Defender could mean it’s getting ready to bring the product to other platforms like the Mac. And considering parts of the enterprise counterparts of Windows/Microsoft Defender like the ATP is already available on the Mac, the consumer-faced products like the regular Microsoft Defender Antivirus could be making its way to other platforms, too. That one should be quite interesting.