Categories: SecurityWorkspace

So Really – Why DID Intel Dump The McAfee Name?

In February 2011, Intel completed its $7.68 billion acquisition of security vendor McAfee. It’s a deal that brought the extensive technology assets as well as the trusted McAfee brand to Intel.

Now nearly three years after the deal closed, Intel has decided that though the technology is strong, the McAfee brand itself should go away. The new plan from Intel is to gradually phase out the McAfee name for all new technology security products. Instead, Intel will leverage its own powerful brand with the name “Intel Security.”

Intel Security will keep one element of the McAfee brand—the McAfee shield.

John McAfee is very happy

John McAfee, the eccentric founder of McAfee, is reportedly very happy that his name will no longer be associated with Intel’s security assets.

“I am now everlastingly grateful to Intel for freeing me from this terrible association with the worst software on the planet,” McAfee told the BBC. “These are not my words, but the words of millions of irate users. My elation at Intel’s decision is beyond words.”

Mr. McAfee is likely a key reason for Intel deciding to lose the McAfee brand as he has been a vocal opponent of the current McAfee technology. In a 2013 YouTube video that has been viewed over 4 million times, Mr. McAfee sarcastically explains how to uninstall McAfee Antivirus software, while making fun of his alleged playboy lifestyle of excess.

Looking beyond Mr. McAfee himself, there is little doubt that the value of the Intel brand is of substantially greater value to consumers than that of McAfee (although John McAfee was a surprise winner of TechWeek’s poll to find a replacement for Steve Ballmer at Microsoft). Intel is known and trusted and by extending the Intel brand to the security sphere, the company is aiming to build on that trust in a domain that demands the highest levels of trust and integrity.

By more closely aligning McAfee technology with Intel through the new Intel brand, Intel will also likely be more easily able to bundle security as a feature of its platforms. Consumers have long been bombarded with free 30-day trial software from security vendors, but what if Intel Security just comes preloaded with Intel platforms? Consumers would likely just assume and rightly associate the security with Intel processors and platforms as a logical extension.

During his Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2014 keynote, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said that his plan was to extend Intel Security for mobile and to offer it for free. Security is perhaps a barrier to adoption of some of the new embedded, wearable and mobile technologies. If that technology has security embedded from the same vendor that makes the silicon, I strongly suspect that consumers and enterprises alike will more likely than not embrace the complete solution.

In the final analysis, that’s what the McAfee rebrand is all about. It’s not just about distancing the company brand from an eccentric founder; rather, it’s about tying the total platform solution together with a strong Intel brand from end to end.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Are you an Intel Insider? Try our Intel history quiz!

Originally published on eWeek.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWeek and contributor to TechWeek

Recent Posts

Gloucester City Council Confirms ‘Cyber Incident’

Council IT services hit by so called 'sleeper' malware, with media reports pointing the finger…

16 hours ago

Gigabyte Broadband Pledge At Risk, Warns Spending Watchdog

UK pledge to close the digital divide of broadband services for urban and rural customers…

18 hours ago

UK To Address Marketing Of High Risk Crypto Investments

British financial watchdog says it will curb the marketing of cryptoassets and other high-risk investments,…

20 hours ago

Tesla Driver Charged With Manslaughter After Autopilot Crash

Criminal charges for the first time in fatal crash involving Tesla's Autopilot, as driver is…

22 hours ago

Airport 5G Towers Switched Off In Temporary Aviation Compromise

AT&T and Verizon agree to temporarily switch off 5G towers near certain airports, as operators…

23 hours ago