A preview version of Microsoft Defender on Windows 10 and Windows 11 launched today, but the app actually might be part of a bigger picture for Microsoft. According to ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley, it's just the latest in a string of changes with some of Microsoft's branding, helping play into one of their newest strategies.
You might have noticed that Microsoft Defender mentions adding mobile devices, and it's this that could be a big play for Microsoft. After all, Microsoft Defender is yet another one of the company's cross-platform apps like Teams, OneDrive, Outlook. It has been in the works for a while, as far back as October 2021, and now gives Microsoft an antivirus client for mobile devices, too.
Additionally adding to that is Foley's comments on how the new app could play a role in Microsoft's MetaOS, which she says is the layer of data from all across Microsoft 365. She's not certain on how but suggests that consumer versions of enterprise apps are involved.
Again, though, Microsoft Defender Preview isn't a replacement for Windows Security which already exists. By spreading it across platforms, the app offers Microsoft more access to underlying data for Microsoft 365 via connections with Microsoft Accounts -- while also being about protecting Android users from threats, too. Meanwhile, for consumers on Windows, it is a way to visually surface data from Windows Security scans.