Microsoft Ending the Windows Information Protection Service

Microsoft on Thursday announced the gradual end of its Windows Information Protection (WIP) service, which is designed to keep users of Microsoft 365 apps from inadvertently disclosing organizational information.

WIP lets IT pros specify which apps can be used with organizational data. They can also restrict data copying from one app to another, for instance.

Microsoft's announcement indicated that WIP was entering a "sunset" phase, meaning "deprecation," a product lifecycle term. Deprecation happens when "a feature or functionality is no longer in active development and may be removed in future releases," per Microsoft's terminology.

The actual removal date for WIP wasn't indicated in the announcement, nor in the document links that were referenced. Microsoft wants WIP users to switch to using Microsoft Purview Information Protection and Microsoft Purview Data Loss Prevention instead.

Microsoft is stopping its development efforts on WIP apparently because Microsoft Purview Data Loss Prevention works well with the "protection built into Microsoft 365 cloud services, Microsoft 365 Apps (Office)" and Windows endpoint devices, plus the Microsoft Edge browser, according to the announcement.

The announcement also suggested that Microsoft Purview Data Loss Prevention would better suit the needs of organizations needing cross-cloud solutions.

If Microsoft Purview Data Loss Prevention is integrated with Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps, then its data loss prevention capabilities will also work with "macOS endpoints and Chrome browser, and various cloud apps, such as Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, and others," the announcement indicated.

Possibly, WIP users with E3-type licenses might get kicked upstairs to top-of-the-line E5 licensing. At least that's what one reader of Microsoft's announcement contended. The announcement, though, stated that "all you need is a Microsoft 365 Enterprise E3 subscription or greater" to use the Microsoft Purview Data Loss Prevention service.

The ability to use E3 licenses with the Microsoft Purview Data Loss Protection service does appear to be indicated when protecting Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business, per this document description. However, social media reactions, such as this Twitter thread, seemed skeptical, and also expected to see an E5 push.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.


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