KitGuru reported that Intel bought McAfee yesterday for $7.68 billion. That's interesting enough. But when you consider Intel's other investments, it leads to some intersting possibilities. KitGuru investigates.
When Jan Gritzbach and Tomas Hofer got together in 1991, it wasn't the AVG antivirus program they developed that had the biggest impact in the market, it was the delivery mechanism(s). Offering a decent, but reduced, product set for free – then looking for coversions to the fairly priced full product.
While muppets queueing in PC World and have their heads turned by the ‘nice and shiny yellow boxes' near the till, Norton is far from the only choice for (a) high end corporates or (b) hardcore enthusiasts.
Intel invested, indirectly, around $52m into the AVG brand around 2001. We believe that bought a 1/3 share.
Wise investment? Well, in 2009, TA Associates – one of the 50 biggest private investment firms in the world – paid $200m for a small slice of the AVG action.
While AVG is not held in quite the same esteme as Kaspersky or ESET, it is definitely viewed as better than Norton or Bullguard and the rest of the ‘be happy, happy, we make it easy, even if it isn't that good' products that regular users feel compelled to buy.
So, with the acquisition of McAfee, Intel has the ability to bring together McAfee's serious corporate profile with AVG's appeal to the technically knowledgeable masses.
How many exactly?
Well, according to Download.com's latest figures, somewhere north of 304 million. AVG's CEO, J.R. Smith (no relation to J.R. Hartley), has gone on record to say that his company has over 85 million live users around the world.
How long until Intel brings these 2 brands together? Not sure. We'd estimate around 6 months to assess the staffing needs of each and to make a decision on the best branding path to take going forward.
Could it signal the end of the AVG free delivery system? KitGuru really hopes not.
Could it be the start of a huge butt-injection of bloatware into AVG? KitGuru really hopes not.
KitGuru says: Having taken a stake in 2 of the biggest security software brands on the market, as well as buying its own embedded operating system, integration seems to be the name of he Intel game going forwards. It certainly seems to be positioning itself to be able to deliver complete solutions WITHOUT the need to share revenue with other partners. Intel has a track record of this, starting with its determination to take more of the BOM (Bill of materials) when it pushed hard into chipsets etc in the 1990s. We'll follow up on where we think this might go, shortly.
Chit chat below, KitGuru forums for a full bellow.