Microsoft Defender Preview is now available on Windows 10 and 11
Microsoft is prepping a new security app for Windows 10 and 11. This is the Microsoft Defender Preview, let's see what it does.
First things first, the app doesn't replace the default antivirus that exists on your PC. That's because it is called Windows Security, not Microsoft Defender or Windows Defender, even though you're maybe referring to it as such. So, the new app is essentially a companion program that complements the present program, it's sort of like a Dashboard if you will.
What is Microsoft Defender Preview
The app, first spotted by Aggiornamenti Lumia, has an interface that's divided into three panes. The left pane displays some tips to educate users about how to stay safe online. The middle pane is called, This Device, and has a text label clicking on which takes you to a screen with the device's security information. It tells you when the last threat scan was run on the computer, the number of files that were scanned and the number of threats that were found.
For more details, click the Security History button on the home page, to view the Alerts and History of all threats that were detected on the system.
The "This Device" screen in Microsoft Defender Preview lets you check whether all security components are working properly on your system, such as the Virus & Threat Protection, Updates, Ransomware Protection. It also lets you view your Security History. The Settings can only be changed from the Windows Security app.
Back on the home page of the app, the bottom of the central pane lists other devices that you have connected to the account. Speaking of which, you can add other devices using the section to the right side of the screen, the app gives you a link to install it on other devices, including mobile phones and tablets, via this URL.
Once they are connected to your account, the app will allow you to view the security information of all your devices (including your family's), remotely via its interface. Let's say that Windows Security detected a malware on one of the computers, it will show up on the "Other devices" dashboard in Microsoft Defender Preview. But you will still have to run a scan or take an action via the Windows Security app manually, at least that's how I understand it.
According to its Store description, Microsoft Defender Preview will display real-time notifications for alerts. The fine print in the Store listing is where things get interesting. Allow me to quote it for you,
"No subscription is required for Microsoft Defender Preview. In the future, Microsoft Defender will require a Microsoft 365 Family or Personal subscription."
This clearly suggests that the app will not be free for users, though I wonder if there will be other limitations in place.
Download the Microsoft Defender Preview app from the Microsoft Store. (credit). There are a couple of caveats here, for one, you need to have a US IP address, just to sign in to the program. I used ProtonVPN (free), but you can use any VPN. You will need to use it to sign in to the app, every single time you reboot the computer, which is annoying. But this is a Preview version, so such restrictions are to be expected. The other requirement is that your computer needs to be running on Windows 10 version 19041.0 or higher, to run the app. The system requirements listed on the Store says that the app supports x64/x86 systems, and the Xbox console.
Though the Microsoft Defender Preview is available for download, it is yet to be announced officially. It is likely to be unveiled in this week's Windows 11 Insider Preview Build. I'd advise waiting for the announcement, before you dive in to test the program, but it seems to work just fine, even on stable Windows 11.
Microsoft Defender Preview seems like a nice app, and the endpoint-like experience will surely be useful for users who want to manage the security of their not-so-tech-savvy family members' computers remotely.
What do you think about the app?Advertisement