How Long Will Intel's Acquisition Binge Continue?

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-08-19 Print this article Print


5. McAfee goes away 

Just as likely as it is that Intel does little with McAfee, the company might decide to absorb the security firm altogether. For now, it's saying that McAfee will remain a separate entity, but as past technology acquisitions have shown, that's not always the case. Depending on Intel's goals and how it plans to accomplish them, the chip maker might decide to simply pick the aspects of McAfee's business that it cares about, and let the others die. All the while, the McAfee name could go the way of the Dodo. 

6. Intel slows down its acquisition craze 

As Intel noted in the press release detailing its McAfee purchase, it has been on an acquisition spree as of late. In fact, the company said that it has recently acquired companies in several different markets, including "gaming, visual computing, embedded device and machine software, and now security." Considering how much it paid for McAfee, look for Intel to slow down its acquisitions. 

7. Uncertainty in the desktop-security market 

The desktop-security market is still the foundation of McAfee's operation. But with Intel now taking the lead, it's possible that consumers and enterprise customers will be loath to acquire new McAfee software until they know that the security firm is fully invested in that space. Prior to the acquisition, McAfee had stated goals. Now, Intel has different goals. That could have a direct impact on desktop security. And given how important it is for consumers and especially enterprise customers to safeguard data, it could be enough to send some customers elsewhere. 

8. Intel loses its way 

With Intel acquiring McAfee, some might already be wondering what the company was thinking about. After all, it makes processors and now, it's trying to get into the security business. Depending on how Intel manages McAfee, the company might lose its way. It might get caught up in security to the detriment of its chip operation. It might also get distracted by the many other firms it acquired. Intel is big and it's successful, but that doesn't mean a major acquisition can't derail its vision. 

9. AMD buys a security company 

Although the focus of the McAfee acquisition revolves around Intel's vision, it's important to not forget that AMD is still a major player in the chip market. And due to Intel's acquisition of McAfee, it's possible that AMD will follow suit and acquire a security firm of its own. Given its recent financial woes, it likely won't be able to afford a major firm such as Symantec, but it's possible that it picks up a smaller company. Intel's McAfee acquisition puts AMD on notice: the future is in security. 

10. Consolidation in the security market 

If (or perhaps, when) AMD acquires a security firm, look for smaller companies to start banding together. In some markets, when a major acquisition is made and a huge firm looms, smaller companies attempt to bolster their services by buying other, even smaller companies. That doesn't necessarily mean that the security market will consolidate, but that possibility seems more likely than ever. In a few years, it's possible that just a handful of paid services will be available to combat the world's security threats. And the market will have Intel to blame for it. 

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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