Microsoft brings Defender anti-malware software to Macs for the first time

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Microsoft brings Defender anti-malware software to Macs for the first time

Microsoft is challenging its 80s cartoon side

MICROSOFT HAS crossed the great divide, bringing its Windows Defender anti-malware package to Apple’s Mac range.

Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (MDATP) was previously only available to corporate customers of Microsoft’s 365 subscribers as a way of protecting office networks from nasties.

Of course, part of the launch involves a name change – originally it was known as Windows Defender.

The preview will be available from next month, featuring Endpoint Detection and Response, and Threat/Vulnerability Management (TVM). The latter offers context for sysadmins, spotting vulnerabilities and known problems that are present on the network and prioritises them for action.

Wednesday’s announcement was part of a number of additions for enterprise customers – Mac users will also be able to take advantage of Windows Virtual Desktop, allowing them to run Windows apps (or anything else Windows-related) from an Azure-based cloud.

The move comes as a result of Microsoft’s purchase of FSLogix, a company specialising in simplifying virtualisation.

Also new is the default addition of Microsoft Teams to Office 365 ProPlus, the Slack rival that is now (according to Redmond) being used by half-a-million organisations.

As an aside, Office 365 ProPlus will now install in Windows 10 as a 64-bit package by default. Surprising that wasn’t the case already, but offices quite often use old clunky computers, so it probably made sense at the time.

There are lots of other nips and tucks in the announcement, but that’s the beef.

The significance of a Mac anti-malware package from Microsoft can’t be underestimated. It’s another reminder that the company recognises that it’s no longer the only game in town and that the hearts and minds of companies are not in its endpoint computers but in its cloud infrastructure and enterprise administration.

With nearly 40 per cent of Windows machines still running the outgoing Windows 7, Microsoft is acutely aware that there are other options for upgrading, and the secret now is for Microsoft to be at the forefront of whatever organisations decide is the way forward. μ

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