It was only a couple of months ago that Microsoft released its Windows 10 Creators Update for PCs. While the update offers numerous enhancements, it also brings a ton of new security features as well. Although Windows Defender has vastly improved and is a free option for Windows users, Microsoft is fully aware that it isn't the only option.
In order to make a secure Windows platform a reality, the firm believes in a couple scenarios that must be fulfilled - with one of those being working with thousands of independent software vendor (ISV) applications to ensure compatibility. What this means is that the firm must work with its antivirus partners to identify changes utilizing the Insider builds and provide guidance through its own Microsoft Virus Initiative (MVI) program. By utilizing the available resources, Microsoft found that 95% of third-party antivirus software was already compatible even before the release of the latest Windows update.
Not one to leave those that are incompatible out in the cold, the firm built a feature that would allow those apps to still run, as long as they were properly updated. This entailed, Microsoft to disable parts of the software first, before the updates commenced. The firm claims that they worked with those companies that had compatibility issues to help them identify which versions would be compatible.
While Microsoft does not make mention of any one specific company, one cannot help to think that this post is in response to the recent lawsuit from Russian antivirus provider Kaspersky. At the top of the month, the firm filed an antitrust complaint against Microsoft due to its alleged removal of the company's software in favor of Windows Defender. In a statement, Microsoft stated that its "primary objective is to keep customers protected", and even offered to meet with Kaspersky to discuss its concerns, but that the meeting had not taken place.
In the post, Microsoft also explains how its Defender application works in relation to third-party apps. While it is true that Windows Defender is a core part of Windows 10, the AV does not run unless a form of protection is not present. That means that once an antivirus is installed, Defender will fade into the background without interrupting the experience.
Microsoft has often touted how its latest version of Windows is the most secure yet. As mentioned previously, with the Creators Update, it introduced a number of new security features like:
- A new Windows Defender Security Center
- Enhancements to Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection
- Improved MDM solutions for enterprise, and Surface Enterprise Management Mode
- New 'Update Compliance' with Windows Analytics to monitor issues with Windows 10 deployments
- Enabling organizations to prevent users installing apps from sources other than the Windows Store
Windows Information Protection improvements for business customers
- Easier setup of Windows Hello biometric authentication
While the above processes are in place, Microsoft is always committed to improving the experience of the customer and will strive to evolve the program when it is necessary.