But the reality is that Windows 7 is going to reach the end of support on January 2020 and that should be enough of a reason to move off the operating system; this Defender solution is meant to make that process easier from a security-only point of view. However, since a lot of users are still on the previous versions of the OS, Microsoft has announced that it is adding Windows Defender ATP down-level support for Windows 7 Service Pack 1 and Windows 8.1.
The solution will also show in a single Windows Defender Security Center window the timeline for suspicious activity inside a company's network.
Both Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1 have entered the extended support phase of their lifecycle, meaning that they receive security updates.
Windows 7 and 8.1 will as well get an EDR (Endpoint Detection and Response) solution for security experts to get them more details on threats on their endpoints. Separately, Microsoft is testing a way users can preview new versions of native apps without being on Windows Insider Preview builds. The release targets the users who are now in transition and still have at least Windows 7 devices in possession. Users will be able to see all detections and events across their Windows flavors in Windows Defender Security Center, the cloud-based console for Windows Defender ATP.
With migrations to Windows 10 well underway, Microsoft has opted to boost its cloud service's capabilities rather than prop up older operating systems. According to Microsoft, it's making the change so all its customers have "the best security possible", irrespective of their current platform.
Microsoft reminds users that the new security solution will work simultaneously with third-party antivirus software, although Microsoft Windows Defender Antivirus will provide further compatibility. However, Windows XP's long run showed us that if an old operating system continues to remain popular, Microsoft may extend the support for it. At the same time, Microsoft also announced a new partner, called SentinelOne, which will integrate its Endpoint Protection Platform and its own EDR with Microsoft's Windows Defender ATP.