Windows 7: Soon End-of-Life for Microsoft Security Essentials

win7 [German]Just a notification for Windows 7 SP1 users, who are using Microsofts Security Essentials (MSE) as an antivirus solution. Redmond stops updating the Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) soon. MSE is reaching End-of-Life (EOL).


Windows 7 support ends January 2020

The extended support period for Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2008 R2 will end on January 14, 2020. The end-of-life date (EOL) has been fixed since the release of Windows 7.

Microsoft offers companies the Extended Security Update Program (ESU), which can be used to obtain security updates until January 2023. Here in the blog there are some articles about Microsoft's ESU program – although Microsoft partners still don't seem to know how small companies can order an ESU license (I still don't have any prices, despite several requests – and struggles in a similar way).

Microsoft Security Essentials: Support ends 01/14/2020

I haven't noticed it, when I went through the Microsoft FAQ on Windows 7 Extended Security Updates. But the colleagues at German site took a closer look. The FAQ says:

Will Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) continue to protect my computer after the end of support?

No, your Windows 7 computer is not protected by MSE after January 14, 2020.  MSE is unique to Windows 7 and follows the same lifecycle dates for support. Learn more about MSE.

So MSE will no longer receive any updates from this date under Windows 7, no matter whether ESU has been booked or not. So the signature files will quickly become outdated.

From Windows 8.1 onward, Windows Defender is comparable to Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE), and will be supported with updates. But a German reader raised an interesting question. He has installed Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) on a Windows Server 2012 R2 instance. Is this MSE instance supported with updates? From what I know, this version of MSE should receive updates until 2023.

System Center EndPoint Protection (SCEP)

Companies with a larger inventory of Windows 7 clients that choose the Extended Security Update Program may stay with Microsoft for an antivirus solution. Microsoft's System Center EndPoint Protection (SCEP) will continue to receive support until January 2023, according to the FAQ:


Are System Center Endpoint Protection (SCEP) Virus Definition updates for Windows 7 covered by ESU?

SCEP definition and engine updates will continue for Windows 7 regardless of ESU status, according to the respective lifecycle policy for the listed SCEP versions.

  • All in-support versions of SCEP offer anti-spyware and anti-virus updates on version 4.10.209.
  • SCEP Current Branch will be the only EndPoint Protection product that will offer AV updates (until Jan 2023) after the 2012 version reaches its end of support in July, 2022.

In short, customers using System Center EndPoint Protection (SCEP) will continue to receive definition updates in the SCEP Current Branch until January 2023. But SCEP isn't a free antivirus solution.

Consumers and SMBs who are continue using Windows 7 SP1 (with or without ESU) need to switch from Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) to an other antivirus solution from a third party vendor.

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3 Responses to Windows 7: Soon End-of-Life for Microsoft Security Essentials

  1. Pingback: Microsoft Security Essentials Will Not Protect Windows 7 PCs After January 14, 2020 - Security Week

  2. Pingback: Microsoft Security Essentials 14 Ocak 2020’den Sonra Windows 7 Bilgisayarları Koruyamayacak – Siber Güvenlik Web TR

  3. Pingback: Microsoft Addressing 36 Vulnerabilities in December Security Patch Release — – 1O1.TECH

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