As the company has done with Security Essentials and through a recently released Windows Update for consumer users of Windows XP, Microsoft will release a platform update for Forefront Endpoint Protection 2010 (FEP) and System Center 2012 Endpoint Protection (SCEP) on April 8, 2014 that will bring similar expiration warnings to operating systems that are reaching their last days. End-users will be reminded through pop-up warnings that the operating system they are using is expiring.

Because FEP and SCEP are corporate managed systems, administered by local IT, the warnings will not be automatic, but can be controlled – up to a point. The April 8 platform update will bring 3 stages of warnings. The first two can safely be managed away by IT administrators, but when the third stage is reached, warnings will be permanent and anti-malware protection will be halted.

The three stages are as follows:

Stage 1 is reached when the OS is close to the end of its official support cycle and all operations will remain normal – except for the expiration warnings.

Stage 2 is reached when support for the OS is completely over, i.e., it is past the expiration date.  This is considered a "grace period" when reminder warnings are present. Operations remain normal, meaning the anti-malware service continues to function and new definition updates continue to deliver.

Stage 3 is reached when the defined grace period is over. Once Stage 3 is enacted, anti-malware updates will no longer be delivered and the actual FEP/SCEP service will shut down and cannot be restarted.

Administrators can control the warnings for Stages 1 and 2, however, not Stage 3. So, basically, the computer must be migrated to a newer, supported OS prior to Stage 3 being reached, otherwise the computer will reach an unprotected state.