Microsoft appears to have jumped the gun and released the latest edition of its Windows 11 security tool onto the app store early.
The Microsoft Defender Preview app can be downloaded and used free of charge, but the company has already warned it will only be free during the preview period.
In addition to providing a basic security overview, Microsoft Defender Preview gives details of security alerts that have appeared on different devices. Perhaps the most valuable feature of the app is that it makes it possible to easily check the security of a device without the need, necessarily, to have physical access to it.
Microsoft Defender Preview
In many ways, Microsoft Defender Preview is more of a security dashboard than a security app in its own right. The store listing says that the app lets you “easily manage your online security in one centralized view”, and anyone wanting to make use of the app will have to sign into a Microsoft account.
Once signed in, the app makes it possible to view the security status of any and all devices linked to that account. This can include a number of personal devices, but also devices owned by family members. Precisely what you are able to see here will depend on the type of subscription you are using after the preview period comes to an end.
Free – for now
It is worth reiterating the fact that once the preview period comes to an end – and Microsoft has not revealed quite when this will be – the app will no longer be free.
The company points out: “No subscription is required for Microsoft Defender Preview. In the future, Microsoft Defender will require a Microsoft 365 Family or Personal subscription”.
Some users have reported seeing a message informing them that “Microsoft Defender isn't currently available in your region”. But with no official word from Microsoft about availability, it is impossible to say which countries have failed to make the grade.
- If you still haven’t updated, here are the best Windows 10 antivirus apps