Microsoft Defender May Soon Offer Malware Protection For Android And Mac Devices Too

Microsoft Defender on Android
Some people may find this hard to believe, but the built-in antivirus protection in Windows is pretty good these days, and has been for quite some time. Defender routine passes musters by independent AV testing agencies. Unlike other AV solutions, though, it is exclusive to the Windows platform for consumers. Perhaps not for much longer.

If you head over to the Microsoft Store, you can find an entry for "Microsoft Defender Preview" with "Microsoft Corporation" as the developer. It's free to download, though we don't suggest giving it a whirl—don't leave the health and safety of your PC in the hands of a preview. But what's interesting is the description.

"Security, simplified. Microsoft Defender is your personal defense against digital threats. Secure your devices across operating systems including Windows, Apple, and Android," the description reads.

Note that the enterprise solution, Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, is actually available for Android, iOS, and Mac. But for consumer systems, Defender is only on Windows. It seems that will change in the near future, though, based in part on the description of the preview app in the Microsoft Store.

In addition, @Alumia_Italia leaked what looked to be official renders of Microsoft Defender running on Android (see photo up above) and Mac. Here's a look at the latter...

Microsoft Defender on Mac Tweet

According to the folks at Window Latest, this is real and the cross-platform project is codenamed Gibraltar. They say it will remain free on Android, iOS, and macOS, just as it is on Windows. It will also be available for everyone (as in, not strictly for enterprise customers).

Interestingly, they also report that this is really more of a security hub and dashboard, as opposed to replacing its existing security solutions outright. This was also hinted in a previous description of the app in the Microsoft Store.

"Microsoft Defender is a security application that gives you peace of mind. Through our personalized dashboard, you can view the security posture of your Windows device and other connected devices (Mac, iOS, and Android) all in one place," the description read.

The upshot there is being able to keep tabs on different systems running different platforms. For example, the hub would give you an overview of your PC, iPhone, and Android tablet (if those are what you use). Apparently you can also add family member and personalize the experience in other ways too.

It's not clear when exactly the cross-platform Microsoft Defender Preview will launch.