Intel completes $7.68 billion McAfee purchase

Ronny Kerr · February 28, 2011 · Short URL:

Chip making and computer security: to stay wedded forever?

Intel announced Monday that its acquisition of computer security company McAfee is officially complete.
The deal was first revealed in August 2010, when Intel, the world’s largest chip maker, revealed it would be paying $7.68 billion in cash for McAfee. At the time, that amounted to about $48 per share.
Computer security, online or not, has often had little to do with the hardware. Chip makers focus on making powerful, fast and efficient processors, leaving the art of antivirus and encryption to the software engineers. With this latest acquisition, however, Intel is shifting its philosophy to more dramatically wed hardware and software.

“In the past, energy-efficient performance and Internet connectivity have defined computing requirements,” said Renée James, Intel SVP and general manager. “Intel has added security as a third pillar of what people demand from their experiences with personal computers and other connected devices.”

McAfee and its president, Dave DeWalt, now report to Intel’s Software and Services Group, which is headed by James.

Whether it’s McAfee and Intel or some other tech entity, the next generation of IT security leaders has a lot of work to do. As quickly as new technologies, new products and new features proliferate across consumer services and devices, so do security threats and privacy holes surface.

Part of the problem is the sheer magnitude of data. Consider, for a minute, all trends that point to the waterfall surge of smartphone usage taking place around the world. The fun in smartphones might be using applications so cute and teeny we call them “apps,” but, in reality, those apps house mountains of personal data: bank account information, medical histories, etc. Computer security in the 21st century is no walk in the park.

Accounting for this completed acquisition, Intel expects first quarter revenue to be $11.7 billion, plus or minus $400 million. Intel predicts that full-year growth percentage will float somewhere in the mid-to high teens, compared to a previous estimate of approximately 10 percent.

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