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Microsoft security apps arrive for Apple and Android for 365 customers

Microsoft has released a preview anti-virus and security apps for Apple iPhone / iPad, Android plus Windows and Xbox called, confusingly, Defender.  Trial apps are available for personal use now but in future you’ll need a Microsoft 365 Personal or Family plan.

Defender was the name of Windows protection parts of Windows. In Windows 11 the same features are called ‘Windows Security.  Microsoft Defender has become the name of a collection of related security apps and services.

Microsoft Defender is a cross-platform security service with apps for PC, Apple and Android devices.

Source: Microsoft

Aside from cross-platform coverage, Defender doesn’t seem to be anything new for Windows 10/11 users. According to Microsoft, Defender provides “anti-malware and web protection services “ which is strange because that sounds like the coverage Windows and the Edge browser is supposed to already provide.

For some years, Microsoft has said their in-built security was all their customers needed combined with browser protections.  It will be interesting to see how they spin the need for Defender without dissing the safety of Windows.

Maybe there is something genuinely new and useful in Defender? From what we’ve seen so far it sounds like a repackaging and branding strategy with little to benefit Windows users.

What about Microsoft 365?

All this is interesting to Office Watchers because the new Defender will only be able to Microsoft 365 Personal and Family users.  In other words, Defender will be part of what you get with Office software, app, OneDrive etc.

Office Watch has comprehensive guides to both Windows 10 and 11:

Windows 11 for Microsoft Office users

Windows 10 for Microsoft Office users – 2022 edition

Defender trial limits

The Defender for Windows trial or public preview is open and you don’t need a Microsoft 365 plan.

However, signing in needs a personal Microsoft account (such as,, or

Currently the Microsoft Defender public preview is only in the United States and it’s in English only.

Defender can be installed on up to FIVE devices per Microsoft account.

Defender for Windows

For Windows 11, Windows 10 v19041 or later and Xbox.  Intel 64 or 32 bit but not ARM64 devices.

Defender for iOS, iPhone and iPad

Go to the App Store via 

Defender for Android

Go to Google Play via , installs only under a Personal Profile.

Microsoft has a fairly comprehensive primer starting at  Getting started with Microsoft Defender.

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