More information on Microsoft antimalware protection on Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012

securityIconWindows 8 comes with Windows Defender (WD) included and has no built-in manageability. WD is primarily a consumer product, like Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) that is shipped in the box with Windows 8.

Windows Defender is NOT included with Windows Server 2012, see the table below for a supported version of a Microsoft Antimalware product.

System Center Endpoint Protection (SCEP) and Forefront Endpoint Protection (FEP) will always disable WD during the SCEP/FEP installation process.

FEP 2010 and SCEP RTM will not support Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012 although the support for both is scheduled to come with a future update for Configuration Manager 2007/FEP 2010 and Service Pack 1 for System Center 2012 Configuration Manager.

NOTE:   Windows Defender that comes with Windows 8 includes antimalware protection!

All Microsoft Antimalware protection clients listed below will be using the same underlying technologies and offer the same level of protection:

  • SCEP SP1
  • FEP with Update Rollup 1 + future update
  • Windows Defender included with Windows 8
  • MSE

The table below gives an overview of the supported Microsoft Antimalware Protection products.


Windows 8/Windows Server 2012

Pre-Windows 8

Managed with ConfigMgr 2012



Managed with ConfigMgr 2007

FEP w/FEP Update Rollup 1 + KB2758685

FEP / FEP Update Rollup 1


Windows Defender (NOT on Windows Server 2012)

MSE / SCEP / SCEP SP1 / FEP with install switches

NOTE Please remove any Group Policies containing “Turn off Windows Defender”=Disabled before you deploy SCEP/FEP on Windows 8 clients or you will have issues with definitions not deploying properly. When editing the Windows Defender group policy, click “Turn off Windows Defender” on the right of the window, then click “Edit Policy Setting” to open the “Turn off Windows Defender” dialog box. Click the circle next to “Enabled” to disable Windows Defender.

Diana L. Smith, CISSP | Senior Support Escalation Engineer | Management and Security Division

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