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Intel Dropping McAfee Branding

During CES 2014, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said that the company plans to phase out the McAfee brand. The announcement arrives after McAfee Chief Marketing Officer Penny Baldwin said last month that the company would "see massive change" in "packaging and names."

According to reports, the security firm will continue to operate as a wholly owned subsidiary, and work alongside Intel employees who are currently working on security activities under the new "Intel Security" brand name. Only the red and white shield logo will remain.

"I've been begging them to drop the brand or fix the product," McAfee said in a telephone interview with Reuters on Tuesday.

John McAfee founded McAfee Associates in 1987, and then resigned from the company in 1994 with around $100 million in cash. He stayed in the spotlight for years to come with his "bored millionaire antics," but then made major headlines in 2012 when he went on the run after his neighbor in Belize was found shot in the back of his head.

After that whole escapade, McAfee was jailed in Guatemala and then deported to Miami after faking a heart attack. The latest antic is a video of McAfee reading letters from annoyed McAfee software users. The language is graphic, and the ladies are scantily clad. There's also plenty of drug use, foot licking and guns. Wahoo.

"Something went wrong. Fifteen years ago I had some beautiful software, and they took it over. I don't know what they did," he states. He then talks about his tax consultant, and whips out a gun. Overall, the comments merely echo his distaste for the association that links him to the antivirus software. He's also tired of getting hate mail regarding said software.

"I really am elated beyond description," he told CNN Money. "Everyone thinks I've written the worst software in the world. But I've had nothing to do with that company for 20 years."

The video seemingly tries to get under Intel's skin enough so that the chip maker gives up and changes the name. Chief Technology Officer Michael Fey told Reuters that the company is not concerned about the video because most customers know that John McAfee hasn't worked for the company in years. Yet Fey said it will be a relief once the association is severed, and the company could finally ignore his zany antics.

"As an employee I am happy to stop having to answer that," Fey said.

  • ferooxidan
    I think all other people who doesn't read news about IT and a little vague about tech world will have thought like this: Intel Security things will be even worse naming than McAfee because they will start to think it is something that doesn't really that important in your system just like Microsoft Defender.
    Reply
  • therealduckofdeath
    "IT illiterate" recognises brands too. My father who's almost 70 still insists on subscribing on McAfee. Knowing brands and knowing how a computer actually works aren't the same thing, and McAfee has been around since the dawn of the interwebz...
    Reply
  • sykozis
    This was announced Tuesday morning at the beginning of CES 2014. Why is Tom's only NOW reporting it? Why not report it the day it was announced? Not like anything else they actually paid attention to at CES 2014 was really worth reporting anyway....
    Reply
  • aevm
    Intel isn't exactly known as a software producer. This move will hurt sales of their antivirus.
    Reply
  • sykozis
    Can't hurt sales any more than the product has....granted the product is actually getting better since Intel took over. It's file detection rate is on par with Kaspersky, Trend Micro and BitDefender these days. The only problem areas are false positives (they are doing better than AVG, Symantec and Vipre in that area) and stability (which will vary by system for every security product on the market). McAfee achieved a rating of "Advanced" from AV-Comparatives in Dec 2013 for the real-world tests with an overall detection rate of 98.7% for the 4 month period and 20 false positives. AVG, Symantec and Vipre had 28, 37 and 37 false positives, respectively.... So, McAfee is in fact improving.....just not as fast as some of us would like to see. Their latest products do perform quite well in tests conducted using Windows8 though.
    Reply
  • aevm
    Yeah, I've been doing research recently to pick an antivirus. I went with BitDefender. From what I've read, McAfee catches about 83% of the viruses caught by BitDefender. I hope Intel makes it competitive again.
    Reply
  • sykozis
    I've been researching for the last week after an incident with a malware infested link my wife found on facebook. Even with Kaspersky configured to be as strict and secure as possible, the malware had no issue getting in and establishing itself. From my personal experience, as great as Kaspersky appears to do in every lab test, it seems to fail more often than not in real world usage.
    Reply
  • Morbus
    There's no real substitute to good internet usage. Blocking ads, blocking javascript by default and blocking plugins by default, a well known antivirus that doesn't bog down your machine, running untrusted software in a virtual machine or sandbox, and you're set.Of course computer illiterates will have loads of issues with security. That's because they don't bother educating themselves the tiniest bit. I don't pity them for their mishaps.I, for one, cringe and run away whenever I see a computer illiterate with security problems. Run man, run! I make it a rule not to help friends with those issues. It's either format c: or nothing.
    Reply
  • belardo
    McAfee has been crap for years... and very crappy today. Its marginally better than "Cheap" tech support India that installs on people peoples computers. I think by 1998, it was getting bad.That said... the video is FUNNY as hell.Doesn't matter than intel owns this garbage.PS: This new liner article blogging thingy is confusing... its sucks... when does the article end... thinking is hard.I'd rather buy Anti-Virus software from the real McAfee - even if it didnt do anything.
    Reply
  • DanDustEmOff
    What annoys me is that nearly all anti virus programs no longer remove stuff. They make you phone a premium number and buy a 1 time removal that wouldn't be there if their progam did it's job properly. This seems like acommon trend. If anyone knows of a proper security suit please let me know.On a side note many lol's at the Mcaffe video.
    Reply