Intel Acquires McAfee for $7.68 Billion
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August 20, 2010, 03:40 PM
Join Date: Apr 2010
While Intel sold their old AV product to Symantec years ago, they have invested (through Intel Capital) in AVG in recent years, so their interest in security software is not entirely new.
Many seem to think this is a play for the hand held market, comparatively there's not a lot of growth in PC/Servers and AV for those platforms is a cash cow -- it'll be mad for them to kill that revenue stream by embedding AV in PC/Server processors. OTOH, smart phones and tablets processors are all ARM based and Intel would dearly like to break into that segment with the next Atom platform. Surely it'll help if they can offer an unique feature such as built in AV.
As for any embedded AV, I think it'll need to be more "cloud" and behaviour based than the traditional AV most people are using in their PC (which still relies heavily on a local blacklist). Both McAfee and Symantec have embraced "cloud based" AV in a big way, but buying Symantec would pretty much wipe out Intel's cash reserve and there are probably bits of Symantec that Intel don't really want.
Most people think they overpaid (McAfee has something like 800 mil in cash so the deal is ~6.8 billion) but that's the cost of trying to break into a new market, call it a 2-3 billion dollar bet.
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