Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on Mac Getting Native M1-Chip Support
The Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on Mac security solution is now starting to get "native" agent support for running on Apple M1 chip-based devices, Microsoft announced this week.
The M1-chip support comes into effect with the release of Microsoft Defender for Endpoint version 101.40.84 or later. Mac client devices running macOS version 11 (Big Sur) and later operating system versions will be getting updated to this version via "the existing Microsoft AutoUpdate (MAU) channel," the announcement indicated.
Version 101.40.84 will first arrive on devices set up to receive "Beta" and "Preview" Insider Program releases of Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on Mac. Later, "over the course of the next several weeks," this version will arrive for Mac devices that get "Current" channel releases.
M1 chips are Apple-designed Arm-based processors, but Macs also use Intel-based processors. Version 101.40.84 of Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on Mac is "designed to seamlessly work" on both types of machines.
Intel-based Macs have been using Apple's Rosetta 2 emulation to run so-called "Universal" applications. Rosetta 2 was needed to use Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on Mac, for instance. However, with Version 101.40.84, Rosetta 2 isn't needed anymore.
Organizations will be responsible for removing Rosetta 2 on M1-based Macs, though, as version 101.40.84 doesn't remove it:
With the native M1 support, Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on Mac no longer requires the Rosetta 2 emulator to function on M1-based Big Sur devices. Microsoft Defender for Endpoint does not explicitly take any action on the Rosetta 2. If the Rosetta 2 is no longer needed on a device, it is the responsibility of a user or an organization to remove it.
Microsoft noted that there's no change in functionality, as "the Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on Mac agent will function on M1-based devices in the same way it functions on Intel-based Mac devices."
M1 device support was described as a "highly requested" item for Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on Mac.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.