Menu
Microsoft to end updates to Windows 7's free AV software, Security Essentials

Microsoft to end updates to Windows 7's free AV software, Security Essentials

When support for Windows 7 ends on 14 January, Microsoft will also stop providing new malware signatures for its home-grown Security Essentials software

Credit: Microsoft / Gerd Altmann

Microsoft will not provide new malware signatures for its home-grown Security Essentials software after it retires Windows 7 in five weeks.

"No, your Windows 7 computer is not protected by MSE ((Microsoft Security Essentials)) after January 14, 2020," the company said in a support document mainly concerned about the Extended Security Updates (ESU) being shilled to enterprises. "MSE is unique to Windows 7 and follows the same lifecycle dates for support."

Security Essentials, a free antivirus (AV) program that launched in 2008, was originally limited to consumers.

However, in 2010, Microsoft expanded the licensing to small businesses, defined as those with 10 or fewer PCs. Two years after that, MSE was replaced by Windows Defender with the launch of Windows 8.

Since then, Defender has been baked into each follow-up version of the OS, including Windows 10. Windows 7, though, has been stuck with MSE.

Computerworld previously speculated that Microsoft would provide updates to MSE even after Windows 7's retirement, slated for 14 January. The forecast was based on Microsoft's behaviour five years ago, when it kept cranking out malware signature updates for Windows XP users of MSE in the months after that operating system's April 2014 retirement.

What Computerworld neglected to consider, of course, was that in 2014 MSE still had a large pool of users or potential users, those running Windows 7.

Because Microsoft was still required to produce MSE signature updates for Windows 7, there was no, or little extra work needed to push the same updates to XP. That's not the case now; Windows 7 is the end of the line for MSE.

Without question, it would be in Microsoft's interest to continue updating MSE on Windows 7 after 14 January; unprotected systems threaten the Windows ecosystem as a whole, because exploitation of, say, one Windows 7 PC could lead to the compromise of several other devices on the same network, such as one connecting the machines of a small business.

But Microsoft has presumably weighed that against its desire to induce customers to upgrade to Windows 10 and found for the latter.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftWindows 7

Events

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

This year’s Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards were held as an integral part of the first entirely virtual Emerging Leaders​ forum, an annual event dedicated to identifying, educating and showcasing the New Zealand technology market’s rising stars. The 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 recognised the outstanding achievements and business excellence of 30 talented individuals​, across both young leaders and those just starting out. In this slideshow, Reseller News honours this year's winners and captures their thoughts about how their ideas of leadership have changed over time.​

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners
Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

This exclusive Reseller News Exchange event in Auckland explored the challenges facing the partner community on the cloud security frontier, as well as market trends, customer priorities and how the channel can capitalise on the opportunities available. In association with Arrow, Bitdefender, Exclusive Networks, Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security
Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomed 2019 inductees - Leanne Buer, Ross Jenkins and Terry Dunn - to the fourth running of the Reseller News Hall of Fame lunch, held at the French Cafe in Auckland. The inductees discussed the changing face of the IT channel ecosystem in New Zealand and what it means to be a Reseller News Hall of Fame inductee. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch
Show Comments