Microsoft blinks: Security Essentials will continue to receive updates after Jan. 14

According to an official post, the company will continue to ship updates to Microsoft Security Essentials after Win7’s demise on Jan. 7. At least, that's what we've been promised. The FAQ hasn't been fixed yet.

windows 7 logo in the rear view mirror
pan xiaozhen modified by IDG Comm. / Microsoft (CC0)

Late last week, I talked about a discrepancy in Microsoft’s promised handling of Microsoft Security Essentials as Windows 7 reaches end of support. An internally inconsistent official announcement seemed to say that MSE signature file updates would stop — even for those who have paid for Extended Security Updates. 

Which is absurd. Why would Microsoft stop updating its antivirus program even for people who are paying to continue receiving Monthly Rollup patches?

Yesterday Microsoft held an Ask Me Anything session for the Win7 forlorn, on the Microsoft Tech Community Forum. I asked:

Can you confirm that Microsoft will really, for sure, cut off Microsoft Security Essentials malware signature updates after January 14? Even if you’re paying for Extended Support?

Microsoft engineer Mike Cure provided an official response:

MSE will continue to receive signature updates after Jan. 14.

Citing the Windows 7 support FAQ which says: 

Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) will continue to receive signature updates after January 14, 2020. However, the MSE platform will no longer be updated.

Then on the AMA, @Brian responded by referring to the Extended Security Update FAQ, which says:

Will Microsoft Security Essentials continue to protect my PC after end of support?

No, your Windows 7 PC will not be protected by Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) after January 14, 2020. This product is unique to Windows 7 and follows the same lifecycle dates for support.

That’s an obfuscating piece of bafflegab, subject to whimsical interpretation, as I described in the Computerworld article last week.

Mike Cure then clarified the situation by promising:

I'll get [the ESU FAQ] corrected as soon as possible.

Except, as of early Wednesday morning, nothing’s been corrected. Those of us who actually like and rely on MSE are still hanging on a limb.

Join us for the Seven Semper Fi watch on AskWoody.com.

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