In line with other products that changed their name over the years, like the Microsoft Store for example, Windows Defender gets a new identity in the form of Microsoft Defender.
This important change comes as a consequence of the continuous expansion of Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) that will come to non-windows devices.
With the Microsoft Defender ATP comes the new Microsoft Defender ATP on Mac that will run on devices with macOS Mojave, macOS High Sierra, or macOS Sierra.
The functionality will be the same as in Windows 10.
It seem like Microsoft‘s tactic is to rename all of its cross-platform products ‘Microsoft’, while keeping the Windows specific ones as they were.
The change will not affect the functionality of the product or change it in any way. It will just underline the fact that Defender is part of the Microsoft‘s family available for multiple platforms.
Although the name change should officially take place in the Windows 10 20H1 update, some core components were already re-branded in the freshly released 18941 Build.
That’s the case with the Windows Defender Exploit Guard that has been re-branded as Microsoft Defender Exploit Guard, or the SmartScreen in Edge that has been changed to Microsoft Defender SmartScreen.
For now, Windows Defender Firewall with Advanced Security and Windows Defender Application Guard remain the same, but we could expect a rename in the future.
It’s worth noting that these enterprise security products will most probably come to more platforms in the future, and the re-branding will take effect on Windows 10 in the next big future update.