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

Featured

Slideshows

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2019

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2019

The leading players of the New Zealand channel came together to celebrate a year of achievement at the annual Reseller News Platinum Club lunch in Auckland. Following the Reseller News Innovation Awards, Platinum Club provides a platform to showcase the top performing partners and start-ups of the past 12 months.

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2019
Reseller News hosts alumnae breakfast for Women in ICT Awards

Reseller News hosts alumnae breakfast for Women in ICT Awards

Reseller News hosted its second annual alumnae breakfast for the Women in ICT Awards in New Zealand, designed to showcase the leading female leaders in the industry. Held at The Cordis in Auckland, attendees came together to hear inspiring keynotes and panel discussions, alongside high-level networking among peers. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News hosts alumnae breakfast for Women in ICT Awards
Reseller News Innovation Awards 2019: meet the winners

Reseller News Innovation Awards 2019: meet the winners

Reseller News honoured the standout players of the New Zealand channel in front of more than 480 technology leaders in Auckland on 23 October, recognising the achievements of top partners, emerging entrants and innovative start-ups.

Reseller News Innovation Awards 2019: meet the winners
Show Comments