On the Microsoft Security Essentials homepage, it states the following:

Need security for your business? Microsoft Security Essentials is available for small businesses with up to 10 PCs. If your business has more than 10 PCs, you can help protect them with Microsoft System Center 2012 Endpoint Protection.

I know that Windows 8 comes with Microsoft Security Essentials by default, if a small business was to buy eleven Windows 8 machines, would they have to remove Security essentials on the 11th machine to avoid breaching the license agreement?

  • I don't think this is a licensing thing so much as a we-recommend-a-managed-central-server-for-that-many-systems thing. Not 100% on that, though. – Shinrai Nov 8 '12 at 15:13
  • 1
    Also, MSE doesn't come with Win8 by default, and is not available for Win8 either. Technically, Win8 contains only Defender (as Win7 did), but most of MSE's features have been included in it thus obviating the need for a separate install. Endpoint Protection or similar might be your only choice. – Karan Nov 8 '12 at 15:36
  • The 10 PC restriction is documented in the EULA in section 1b: windows.microsoft.com/en-GB/windows/security-essentials-eula – BCran Feb 19 '13 at 23:02

Windows 8 comes with Windows Defender. Microsoft Security Essentials does not work on Windows 8, but its features have been integrated with the new Windows Defender.

From Windows Defender on Wikipedia:

In Windows 8, functionality has increased to offer antivirus protection as well. Windows Defender in Windows 8 resembles Microsoft Security Essentials and uses the same virus definitions.

System Center 2012 Endpoint Protection uses the same virus definitions as Windows Defender, but also offers IT management for businesses.

From the System Center 2012 Endpoint Protection website:

System Center 2012 Endpoint Protection integrates with System Center 2012 Configuration Manager to provide a unified solution that gives you a comprehensive security and management solution for clients in your enterprise. Endpoint Protection uses the monitoring and deployment capabilities of Configuration Manager to streamline the deployment of antimalware definitions and uses Configuration Manager to provide an in-console monitoring solution. You can also use System Center 2012 Endpoint Protection to configure Windows Firewall settings on computers in your enterprise.

Because Windows 8 now bundles Windows Defender, you can have as many PCs in a company running it as you like (the 10 PC limit was strictly for Security Essentials). If your IT department would like greater control and reporting over the security infrastructure in your company, only then should they consider System Center 2012 Endpoint Protection.

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