I know most of us have downloaded and installed the Windows 8 Consumer Preview on our laptops to give it a try. And like many others, I too am also amazed with the new features and programs introduced in it – the new Metro apps are just fun to use, Internet Explorer 10 is making other web browsers look inferior – but my attention was caught by Windows Defender.
Here I was, looking out for an antivirus to protect my Windows 8, when I went to have a look at Windows Defender. I was confused while looking at Windows Defender in Windows 8 CP. Was it Windows Defender or Microsoft Security Essentials?
Well, it looks like Microsoft is planning to recrhisten Microsoft Security Essentials as Windows Defender. In its earlier iterations, while the former offered anti-virus protection, the latter gave anti-spyware protection. It sure looks like Microsoft has decided to combine both these protections in one program and call it Windows Defender – which in any case is a much better name of the two and is more suitable name too.
I tried running the set up of Windows 8 CP inside my current installation of Windows 7. So before initializing the installation process, it ran a compatibility check run for all the current programs installed on my system.
It found two programs that were conflicting, and which would not work in Windows 8 – one was Kaspersky Internet Security and other, iTunes.
Later on, I investigated about this and found that hardly any security suites are currently compatible with Windows 8 CP. And with more than One Million downloads of Windows 8 Consumer Preview recorded by Microsoft in first 24 hours of its release, my main concern was how were users going to secure their computers?
So, after the installation, first of all I checked about the security arrangements and found that Windows Defender will not only defend users from spyware but it will take care of virus and other malware also.
It would also be nice if Microsoft however decides to show the icon of this ‘new’ Windows Defender in the notification area, so that users will know that their antivirus protection ir running just fine.
The About of Windows Defender clearly shows that Microsoft Security Essentials has been integrated by Microsoft and it’s by default availability will be expected in the final build as well.
I am not sure when Microsoft did this – but I am glad they did. But it would have been nice if they could have also announced this somewhere prominently – or maybe I missed the announcement?
UPDATE: Now According to Microsoft:
Microsoft Security Essentials will not be needed on Windows 8. We remain committed to providing strong protection of Windows 7 and earlier Windows users with Microsoft Security Essentials. Both are based on the same core technology (engine, signatures, filter driver), but Windows Defender on Windows 8 also provides additional functionality, such as integration with Windows 8 secured boot.
So now, if Microsoft does plan to pre-install the ‘new’ Windows Defender on Windows 8, will the other security companies (and OEMs) take it quietly – since this step is sure to affect the sales of other Security programs, if it will come pre-installed with Windows 8.
Nitin Agarwal is an MVP alumni and a Pro Blogger. He was awarded as Most Valuable Professional for 3 times by Microsoft in Windows Expert - Consumer category. He is immensely inspired by Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and APJ Abdul Kalam.