Intel to be a software Vendor now?

Intel LogoIf it was April the 1st, I’d think Intel were playing a April fool’s joke on us. But according to my clock, this is nowhere near April and my computer seems to agree so I can only conclude  that the purchasing and investments people at Intel have had one or two too many.

Intel have agreed to purchase the software manufacturer McAfee in what could perhaps be the most bizarre corporate purchase in quite some time. 5.5Billion of Intel’s investment budget of 6.7Billion dollars has been spent on the acquisition.

Intel officials have claimed that the reason behind the bizarre purchase is to integrate security technology into a new age of hardware based security solutions beneficial to the cloud infrastructure of the future. They state that the first breed of Anti Virus powered Processors should be on the market in the first half of 2011.

With Intel being the major company for pc processors means that industrial regulators will usually prevent them from making stratregically sensible investments. They would be unable to buy the competitors AMD for example as that would for all intents and purposes give them a total monopoly on processors.

Therefore it is necessary to look at other areas of revenue such as merging in software solutions like McAfee and any other investments with what is left of the budget is likely to go to other strange areas.

Like all business Intel makes deals with firms in the hopes that it will make a huge sum of money from the investment. If this is not the case then they will normally sell of the section of the business to some other company whom perhaps has the resources, technology or other facilities to take advantage of the venture. Intel sold a firm that they had purchased in 2007 called StrongARM a low power processor manufacturer just as the iPhone was about to kick in and revolutionise the mobile smart phone market. Undoubtedly they are regretting that deal.

I am not entirely sure i am convinced of a benefit either to Intel or McAffee from this deal. Neither company is really realted in any way to each other. The idea of a hardware based security chip sounds impressive but at the end of the day security technology is constantly moving. Is embedding security with the chip really going to benefit the end user?



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