Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is a valuable benefit to help protect your Windows 10 users. Microsoft’s Defender Antivirus component adds heuristic real-time antivirus protection to the mix. Microsoft suggests that using them together gives you better protection that is coordinated across products and services. They were designed to work together, so you get better performance. Microsoft’s new preview for the improved Microsoft 365 security center brings Defender for Endpoint, Defender for Office 365, and Microsoft 365 Defender into one view. Microsoft’s Defender for Endpoint adds a layer of protection to the Windows 10 security stack. But licensing Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on your Windows 10 machines can be confusing.

If you have one of the following volume license offers, then Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is included.

Microsoft 365 E5

Microsoft 365 E5 Security

Microsoft 365 A5

But you can also get it with a separate Windows 10 E5 license, (which in itself is also included with a Microsoft 365 E5 license…). 

A third option is to buy it separately from a Cloud Solution Provider. In that case, you don’t need a volume license. Microsoft states that eligible licensed users can use the Defender for Endpoint to license it on up to five concurrent devices.

Licensing the MacOS version

You might be surprised when you want to license the product to use on a Mac. What you buy from the admin portal may not work, (unless you use it on Windows). Yet a standalone license from a CSP will work right away on the Mac.

The key seems to be the number of Windows licenses activated. In our own environment, the product would not activate on our Macs until we had activated fifty Windows 10 licenses. So, a large enterprise may not even notice this behavior.