Microsoft Defender crosses platforms as new security service


Microsoft Defender enters a new era as a unified cross-platform service spanning Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. It should be noted that it is a new release of the Microsoft Defender cybersecurity suite that will work through Microsoft 365.

It also completes Microsoft’s vision for Defender that dates back several years. When transitioning from Windows Defender to Microsoft Defender, the company targeted the suite as a cross-platform service.

Windows Defender became Microsoft Defender with the launch of Windows 10 20H1. Microsoft originally changed the name when Defender first became available on Apple’s Mac. It made no sense to call it Windows on Apple’s platform.


The new Microsoft Defender is for individual users (Microsoft Defender for Endpoint remains the enterprise version) who subscribe to Microsoft 365 Personal and Family. Although the service has a universal skin across all platforms, Microsoft says features will continue to differ across operating systems.

Different characteristics

For example, iOS does not have antivirus protection unlike macOS, Windows and Android. However, iOS has web phishing protection tools. All platforms will have the same dashboard, which Microsoft says it has simplified.

Android will have the ability to scan for malicious apps, a feature not available on iOS. Additionally, the Android version of Microsoft Defender will also get web phishing protection. On Windows, Defender will remain essentially the same in terms of functionality and will not replace the current security application.

“Expanding our security portfolio with Microsoft Defender for Consumers is a natural and exciting progression in our journey as a security company,” says Vasu Jakkal, vice president of security at Microsoft. “This is just the beginning. Going forward, we’ll continue to bring more protections together under one dashboard, including features like identity theft protection and secure online sign-in.

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