Intel buys McAfee, has hardware security in the crosshairs

This morning, Intel announced in a press release that they will be purchasing the computer security giant McAfee to the tune of $7.68 billion. According the release, Intel wants to integrate security as part of their overarching strategy in “in energy-efficient performance and Internet connectivity.” However, McAfee is by no means a struggling company financially. They enjoyed double digit multi-year growth and 80% gross margins last year, and despite a fairly large faux pas a while back concerning a certain update that did a certain amount of damage to a certain large amount of computers globally, they definitely aren’t in need of being acquired. The move is a strategic one for Intel. Getting into the hardware based security business is something that needs to done, says Intel senior vice president Renee James.

“Hardware-enhanced security will lead to breakthroughs in effectively countering the increasingly sophisticated threats of today and tomorrow. This acquisition is consistent with our software and services strategy to deliver an outstanding computing experience in fast-growing business areas, especially around the move to wireless mobility.”

Dave DeWalt, President and CEO of McAfee, also believes that the partnership will increase their ability to serve their customers.

“The cyber threat landscape has changed dramatically over the past few years, with millions of new threats appearing every month. We believe this acquisition will result in our ability to deliver a safer, more secure and trusted Internet-enabled device experience.”

This is another big step in the direction of platform dominance for Intel. Since their humble beginnings as a chipmaker in mid-20th century, Intel has grown to dominate other areas of computing, like network Interface cards, integrated graphics chipsets, and parallel computing solutions. Acquiring McAfee will certainly go a long way in pursuing dominance in the hardware based security field. 

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Guys you might wana try the new norton, im beta testing the 2011 copy and it works very well, and its also very fast now. The last two years they have been working on it a lot. Intel im sure know what they are doing, they will fix McAfee. But yer I was slaging Norton off for ages, but now its really got better.. But McAfee, well I dont think it was ever any good.

In my opinion this is yet another cash rich company trying to dispose of confetti AKA "the mighty dollar". These people know that the US dollar is about to explode to nothing more than an empty promise. Intel will have swapped a load of their stock in a vane attempt to boost assets and increased (subscription) cash turn-over. The global economy is in a death spiral, everyone wants out of fiat currency (paper) and into real things (assets). AV software has and always will be little more than a scam, tricking the gullible, scaring and milking spineless corporates.

Maybe create a Firmware, non-flashable add-on to the CPU or GPU with antivirus, scan the computer post-BIOS but before Windows/Linux boots up.

Un4given said,
Just another reason to go AMD now. Not like i havent for the past 10 years.

eh...do you really thing this will change their cpu's or MB's or chipsets?

YounGMessiah said,
FAIL FAIL FAIL McAfee is crap like Norton...
The fail here is saying that Norton is crap.

Surprised by this, but hopefully something good will come out of it.

x-byte said,
The fail here is saying that Norton is crap.

Surprised by this, but hopefully something good will come out of it.

Wow your the first to not think so..

I hate McAfee as much as the next guy but has anyone used any of the Intel softwares? Their compilers are solid and some of the debugging softwares they have are absolutely decent. May be they can turn the boat around with this and make McAfee better.

NinjaiX said,
McAfee is crap it would be better if Intel bought out Norton instead.

Yea, cause Norton isn't worse. At all.

treemonster said,
they're both pretty bad.

No, Norton is actually a really good choice now. Improving in all aspects.


This coming from a person that 3 years ago would tell ANYONE that Norton and McAfee are the first two things to look for and remove on a system. At that time they were both essentially malware themselves.

I dunno why so many people are bitching and moaning, do you guys really think Intel will leave McAfee as it is? if anything they will strip it down to the core parts and rebuild it. When Intel finally release something as a result of this acquisition, we'll see how many of you still think it'll be rubbish

Xerxes said,
I dunno why so many people are bitching and moaning, do you guys really think Intel will leave McAfee as it is? if anything they will strip it down to the core parts and rebuild it. When Intel finally release something as a result of this acquisition, we'll see how many of you still think it'll be rubbish

According the statement issued by Intel, McAfee will continue to operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary, reporting into Intel's Software and Services Group.

So who knows, perhaps they will!

Farstrider said,

According the statement issued by Intel, McAfee will continue to operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary, reporting into Intel's Software and Services Group.

So who knows, perhaps they will!


Well that certainly explains why people aren't too happy about it then! Still as the parent company they can still lay down the law on McAfee, so they might still be able to reign them in and get them to make a decent product.

M_Lyons10 said,
And how in the world is McAfee worth $ 7.68 Billion?? Insane.

McAfee, based in Santa Clara and founded in 1987, is the world's largest dedicated security technology company with approximately $2 billion in revenue in 2009. With approximately 6,100 employees.
I suppose this is why!

McAfee has almost always been crap. when they started they were crap. They bought out Dr Solomon Av and were great for a few months. Then they changed the coding and became crap again.
I would NEVER trust McAfee to secure anything

ozyborn said,
McAfee has almost always been crap. when they started they were crap. They bought out Dr Solomon Av and were great for a few months. Then they changed the coding and became crap again.
I would NEVER trust McAfee to secure anything

I agree. Horrible security software. I used it for a year and got a virus. LOL

franzon said,
The antivirus market is dead!

Not dead; however, no-cost AV software (read - MSE) is actually effective enough to replace the paid product. Throw in broadband bundle deals (such as the monster deal between Comcast and Symantec, replacing McAfee) and not even the government licensing is enough to keep McAfee alive. (Also consider the OEM PC bundles; if they have a deal with anyone, it's Symantec. Even Intel has been including Norton products with their motherboards.)

Not a fan of McAfee, comes bundled with new PCs with only a 30 day trial, has very aggressive pop-ups when the trial runs out. And often when you uninstall it, you cannot install another AV program because windows still believes McAFee is still installed. I think it more than qualifies as "crapware" and is borderline "AV Scareware"
And if INTEL paid all that money just to kill it, I would say money well spent!

jimmy_jazz said,
Not a fan of McAfee, comes bundled with new PCs with only a 30 day trial, has very aggressive pop-ups when the trial runs out.

That's something I really hate. When any company installs a trial version of their program on a new computer. They know good and well that many if not most people who buy new computers do not know very much about them, and certainly nothing about uninstalling programs or finding alternatives. When they get the popup saying their antivirus trial is up and they need to buy a subscription, many people think they have no choice and go out and buy it.

Everybody hates them, worst AV ever - possible - but then if that's the case they wouldn't be experiencing double-digit growth.

Lexcyn said,
I don't understand this move. McAfee is a crap product.
According to your opinion. This move is logical and why people assuming Intel are just going to rebrand McAfee and leave it untouched? they are after the underlying technology and considering they are a massive company with alot of resources available to them, I'm sure they can improve it greatly.

EDIT: Alright it's not cheaper but still, it makes sense...this is far better then Intel spending years on trying to develop the technology themselves from scratch.

Hopefully Intel can improve it the same way MSE was improved by Microsoft.

All I can remember about McAfee is the way Conflicker caught them with their pants down and my enterprise had to use a NORTON tool (which I use at home) to contain it.

There was also a McAfee frak-up where it pretty much doomed your machine to endless restarts & errors because of a frikkin' DAT update!

sgrajan said,
Looks like nobody likes McAfee. Still they get double digit growth!!! More 30 day trials??

Because uneducated computer users worry they NEED it and purchase a subscription not knowing theres something better offered by MS for no charge to them.

Quick Shot said,

Because uneducated computer users worry they NEED it and purchase a subscription not knowing theres something better offered by MS for no charge to them.

Actually, it's enterprise (especially government) licenses. State and local governments (and the Feds, too, for that matter) are the biggest licensees (at least the military has been trending toward Symantec since 2002). Remember, governments also typically have the slowest hardware turnover.

PGHammer said,

Actually, it's enterprise (especially government) licenses. State and local governments (and the Feds, too, for that matter) are the biggest licensees (at least the military has been trending toward Symantec since 2002). Remember, governments also typically have the slowest hardware turnover.

I've been in Army bases several times as recently as last year and all I saw at the time was dual 24" monitor setups and dual core processor machines, with classified stickers stuck to them, which seemed like brand new Dell machines at the time.

How is that a slow hardware turnover?

SpecialK. said,

I've been in Army bases several times as recently as last year and all I saw at the time was dual 24" monitor setups and dual core processor machines, with classified stickers stuck to them, which seemed like brand new Dell machines at the time.

How is that a slow hardware turnover?

mission critical operations are still using hardware and software from the 70s and 80s because it can't afford to have bugs that are only completely eliminated after years of support if ever. a miliatary office? yeah sure they'll have new hardware for sure. it's not like the game america's army was developed on a PET 2 or something. but again mission critical stuff? very slow turn over rate.

McAfee is one of the worst AV products out there. I've had numerous calls from friends and relatives that McA was the cause of the problem and removing it (mostly by reformatting - only way) and putting on another product was the only way to correct it.

Worst. Anti-virus. Ever.

T

Taliseian said,
McAfee is one of the worst AV products out there. I've had numerous calls from friends and relatives that McA was the cause of the problem and removing it (mostly by reformatting - only way) and putting on another product was the only way to correct it.

Worst. Anti-virus. Ever.

T

I agree. And one of the worst all around products ever. I think it does more harm than good... Horrible. And it is far from easy to remove too.

We use McAfee VirusScan Enterprise 8.5i and 8.7i at the company I work for and it's a horrible product. It has to be the slowest product around and causes unacceptable amounts of PC slowdown on machines where it's installed. I think even the Norton products beat it in terms of performance these days, and thats saying something. The lag at which viruses are added to their definitions always leaves alot to be desired also. Quite often all the other AV vendors pick up a virus before McAfee does.

Hopefully Intel can inject some quality into the brand as we have site licenses, essentially locking us in to McAfee.

TCLN Ryster said,
We use McAfee VirusScan Enterprise 8.5i and 8.7i at the company I work for and it's a horrible product. It has to be the slowest product around and causes unacceptable amounts of PC slowdown on machines where it's installed. I think even the Norton products beat it in terms of performance these days, and thats saying something. The lag at which viruses are added to their definitions always leaves alot to be desired also. Quite often all the other AV vendors pick up a virus before McAfee does.

Hopefully Intel can inject some quality into the brand as we have site licenses, essentially locking us in to McAfee.

We too have it, but ever since 8.7i, speeds have been much faster, and most of our equipment is reaching end of life.

TCLN Ryster said,
We use McAfee VirusScan Enterprise 8.5i and 8.7i at the company I work for and it's a horrible product. It has to be the slowest product around and causes unacceptable amounts of PC slowdown on machines where it's installed. I think even the Norton products beat it in terms of performance these days, and thats saying something. The lag at which viruses are added to their definitions always leaves alot to be desired also. Quite often all the other AV vendors pick up a virus before McAfee does.

Hopefully Intel can inject some quality into the brand as we have site licenses, essentially locking us in to McAfee.


Obviously you've never used Sophos. Every mrning at 5:30 it updates. This takes about half an hour. The computer becomes virtually unuseable during this update. Then, it's sceduled to run a scan at 6. This is even worse. The computer will lock up completely for minutes at a time, and when it's not completely locked up, it's still so slow as to be useless. This scan will take a seemingly random period of time. Sometimes 15 minutes, sometimes it will still be going at 8. I hate this program so very, very much.

techbeck said,
McAfee went down hill when Network Associates took it over back in 2000 I believe. After that, it was crap.
I agree, also now with the popularity of free antivirus, like MSE, who is going to pay for crap like that?

Quattrone said,
I agree, also now with the popularity of free antivirus, like MSE, who is going to pay for crap like that?

One word: Businesses

Quattrone said,
I agree, also now with the popularity of free antivirus, like MSE, who is going to pay for crap like that?

How about the 95% of the population that still is dumb enough to buy their computers at big-box retailers like Walmart and Best Buy who shove this POS down their throats, and they're none the wiser about it?

Quattrone said,
I agree, also now with the popularity of free antivirus, like MSE, who is going to pay for crap like that?

I've had people insist that I install McAfee on their computer because "it's the best". If you ask them why it's the best they don't know. The best they can come up with is "because it's McAfee".

Brand recognition is a powerful thing for some people. Even if a product is terrible or they know absolutely nothing about it, if they recognize the name it means it must be really great.

Skyfrog said,

I've had people insist that I install McAfee on their computer because "it's the best". If you ask them why it's the best they don't know. The best they can come up with is "because it's McAfee".

Brand recognition is a powerful thing for some people. Even if a product is terrible or they know absolutely nothing about it, if they recognize the name it means it must be really great.


i agree. luckily people who ask me to "fix" their pc slowdowns think i'm some kind of pc wizard and take my word that certain things are better than other things. well most of the time. then again they go and blame their isp for their malware infections and no matter ho wmany times i tell them not to download and install s kinds of toolbars and system trays apps that run on start up even after i tell them that this is why their PC is so slow.

Littlemutt said,
Just what we need - hardware with a false-positive that you can't fix.

Exactly. Hopefully, there will be measures to address false positives and/or for the hardware to let you make the decision to override it.

Wow .... I would not have seen this coming. Never liked McAfee for corporate or home use. Doesn't mean their technology wouldn't be valuable I guess.

Maybe Intel will keep McAfee's consumer product nice and slot so people will be forced to buy faster Intel chips.

ObiWanToby said,
Wow .... I would not have seen this coming. Never liked McAfee for corporate or home use. Doesn't mean their technology wouldn't be valuable I guess.

Maybe Intel will keep McAfee's consumer product nice and slot so people will be forced to buy faster Intel chips.

Yeah, I was surprised to hear this too... Not sure what they could really want with McAfee though. They're technology is horrible.

M_Lyons10 said,

Yeah, I was surprised to hear this too... Not sure what they could really want with McAfee though. They're technology is horrible.


Kaspersky FTW!