Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Compare cell phone plans using Wirefly's innovative plan comparison tool ×
Intel Businesses

Intel's Software Chief Out; Botched McAfee Deal To Blame? 75

jfruh writes: Renee James, Intel's president and head of the company's software group has departed, supposedly to "pursue other opportunities." But a high-profile heir apparent doesn't just leave voluntarily, and it seems likely that she is in part taking the fall for Intel's acquisition of McAfee, the promised synergies of which have failed to materialize. Intel is a traditionally very stable company, but there's been a lot of churn in the upper ranks lately.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Intel's Software Chief Out; Botched McAfee Deal To Blame?

Comments Filter:
  • Fuck McAfee (Score:1, Insightful)

    by sexconker ( 1179573 )

    Fuck McAfee
    Mod +5 Insightful because you know it is.

    • by WSOGMM ( 1460481 )

      Fuck McAfee Mod +5 Insightful because you know it is.

      How about the best free alternative to McAfee?

      • Fuck McAfee Mod +5 Insightful because you know it is.

        How about the best free alternative to McAfee?

        I've been using this product [360totalsecurity.com] which appears to catch quite a lot of different viruses. Now, I'm not really an expert on viruses so it is possible that it false-flags innocent things and makes itself look *really* impressive to me without actually being really impressive. However I'm so impressed that I intend buying the full product. The McAfee crapware that came with the PC was raising alerts for things like "no internet protection" yet failed to find any viruses, while this product found quite a few on my

        • Re:Fuck McAfee (Score:5, Informative)

          by pop ebp ( 2314184 ) on Thursday July 09, 2015 @05:32AM (#50074451)

          What? This is the Chinese antivirus vendor that was caught cheating in antivirus tests [theregister.co.uk] not long ago.

          In China, local antivirus software vendors have a reputation of being shady, often bundling questionable software and forcibly removing their competitors' software (imagine that!). I heard the "international" versions are less aggressive, but personally I still wouldn't let any of them near any of my computers. This is the first time I heard someone outside China using those.

          I can never understand why people use or even buy antivirus software from not-so-trustworthy vendors when Microsoft offers one for free [microsoft.com] that is fast and effective.

          • What? This is the Chinese antivirus vendor that was caught cheating in antivirus tests [theregister.co.uk] not long ago.

            In China, local antivirus software vendors have a reputation of being shady, often bundling questionable software and forcibly removing their competitors' software (imagine that!). I heard the "international" versions are less aggressive, but personally I still wouldn't let any of them near any of my computers. This is the first time I heard someone outside China using those.

            See, this is where the value in /. comes from - the comments to the article, not the article itself. I honestly haven't kept up to date with AV news and didn't know all this (good thing I didn't pay them already!). If I could I'd mod your post up.

            I can never understand why people use or even buy antivirus software from not-so-trustworthy vendors when Microsoft offers one for free [microsoft.com] that is fast and effective.

            I already have security esstentials and ClamAV and one other one that I don't quite remember right now (bitdefender?) installed. I figured it couldn't hurt to add another one. TBH, the software itself doesn't look at all dodgy even if it does have UI issues. It loo

            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by nmb3000 ( 741169 )

              I already have security esstentials and ClamAV and one other one that I don't quite remember right now (bitdefender?) installed. I figured it couldn't hurt to add another one.

              Poe's Law strikes again...

              Installing one anti-virus suite is a questionable decision. Two is moronic. More than that and you probably should stick to a LeapFrog [amazon.com].

          • 360 TS is not malware. Caught cheating, in this case, means that 360 Total Security had Bitdefender engine turned on in advance. Normally, a user needs to click on the Birdefender icon and a switch above it to download the engine to use it. That's not hard to do. Since then a new basic version with Bitdefender preinstalled has been released. All 360 TS version work well as long as you download and automatically install the Bitdefender engine. The Avira engine can also be installed. I find the program to wo
        • 360 Total Security IS MALWARE!!! Sorry, to tell you, but you've been had. And yes, it's pervasive in the Chinese market.

          http://www.wiki-security.com/w... [wiki-security.com]

          • 360 Total Security IS MALWARE!!! Sorry, to tell you, but you've been had. And yes, it's pervasive in the Chinese market.

            http://www.wiki-security.com/w... [wiki-security.com]

            The one you linked to doesn't sound like the one I linked to/one I installed. There are too many differences between the two. The one I linked to differs from the one you linked to as follows:

            1. It doesn't prompt for payment; it just quarantines then deletes.

            2. It hasn't stopped the other AVs running nor flagged them as virus.

            3. The other AVs don't detect it as malware. I'd have expected at least the MS AV to flag it.

            4. It wasn't bundled with anything else.

            5. I haven't seen any pop-ups from it (from anyth

            • http://www.360.cn/ [360.cn] is malware. I can't name the company, but I was tasked with cleaning up a network and its PCs. I found this throwing all sorts of suspicious activity on the network and installing PUPs (Possibly Unwanted Programs) in the background. It's a suite of crapware and quite invasive to the overall Windows UI.

              Now, it's possible there was a crafted malware version that looked like a legitimate program, but I'm not going to take the risk with the "legitimate" version of 360 Security.

              • http://www.360.cn/ [360.cn] is malware.

                That site certainly sets off the alarm bells. The one I used doesn't set off any bells - look at the corporate non-apology they issued for being accused of cheating [360totalsecurity.com]. I'm pretty certain the reputable Labs that accused them of cheating would have made it known if it was malware.

                I can't name the company, but I was tasked with cleaning up a network and its PCs. I found this throwing all sorts of suspicious activity on the network and installing PUPs (Possibly Unwanted Programs) in the background. It's a suite of crapware and quite invasive to the overall Windows UI.

                Now, it's possible there was a crafted malware version that looked like a legitimate program, but I'm not going to take the risk with the "legitimate" version of 360 Security.

                I can't say I blame you. It's getting harder to tell malware from legit software. I might just roll my own tripwire type system for windows - all I need to do is log to a network machine every single process that opened a file for writ

                • http://www.360safe.com/about.h... [360safe.com]

                  It's all Qihoo

                  Qihoo 360 Technology Co. Ltd. (Qihoo 360) is a leading Internet and mobile platform company in China, measured by user base. By September 2014, Qihoo 360 had about 495 million monthly active Internet users, and over 673 million mobile users.

                  Recognizing security as a fundamental need of all Internet and mobile users, Qihoo 360 built a large user base by offering comprehensive, effective and user-friendly Internet and mobile security products. Qihoo 360 strives t

                  • I can't give you an absolute or who to trust, or trust more, but Qihoo ranks at the bottom of the list IMHO.

                    This thread has got me really depressed about AV software - even the one you recommended would cause me to think twice - from their FAQ [vipreantivirus.com]:

                    Yes! Both VIPRE Antivirus 2015 and VIPRE Internet Security 2015 automatically remove your existing antivirus program and replace it with VIPRE.

                    Any software that wants to remove/disable existing AV is going to be regarded as suspect. I did a quick search for a tripwire system and found this [tripwire.org] which appears (on the face of it) to be legit. Will look at the sources for it once I get home, but at least an open-source system won't be as compromised as a downloaded binary.

                    • Yes, quite normal for any AV to replace an existing AV application. Nothing new about this behavior. It's only foul-play if the users is not made aware of it. That's because you do NOT want to be running multiple AV programs at the same time. More often then not, the Windows kernel will freak-out and could throw a BSOD.

                      By the way, in a corporate deployment of managed anti-virus, existing AV programs get removed by the native uninstall routine of whatever is replacing it. A subsequent reboot is required to u

                    • Vipre is shit.

                      > History:
                      Tiny Personal Firewall (the best firewall), is acquired by Keiro. Keiro Personal Firewall - still good, but the interface is dumbed down, and it has some issues.
                      Keiro's non-enterprise division is acquired by SunBelt. The Firewall and AntiVirus "suite" is garbage nearly at this point --- both hose your system if you install them. They are problematic to install, overly complex and unstable.

                      Sunbelt gets acquired by ... yeah I don't recall now, but an "enterprise" company.

                      Oh,

                    • by msim ( 220489 )

                      I've installed Vipre on a pc after doing a refresh, and it doesn't "automatically uninstall" software, what it does is index potentially conflicting software at the very start of the install process and gives you a prompt asking if you wish to continue with the install, ignoring the fact that the software is installed on your pc. Even when I had AVG, Avast, security essentials or anything else installed on another pc did I get it attempting to automatically uninstall the software it had concerns about.

                    • It turned around starting with VIPRE Business 5. It's now on 7. But yes, the product was handed off multiple times.

                      Keiro --> SunBelt --> GFI --> ThreatAttack

                      It's OK, for enterprise Norton would be the best. Bit Defender isn't bad from what I hear. But for the SMB and home market, VIPRE Business seems to do the job.

                      My opinions on AV software in general change every year. Who knows, next year it might suck again. :/

                    • by godefroi ( 52421 )

                      You should probably not computer. Stick to your iPad.

        • by jp10558 ( 748604 )

          For free at home, I use Comodo (I know there's controversy, but it's worked well for me and others I know for years). If I wanted to pay or at work, I'd recommend ESET.

      • Stay away from free antivirus software as most of the threats are real-time lasting in a window of 12 to a few hours. These free programs only detect a known history of malware and not the currently drive-by-downloads that often are the main source of infection via the Internet.

        I recommend just paying for one. They range about $40 bucks a year. Personally, I use VIPRE Antivirus both at home. I was forced to use it at work, but warmed up to it over 6 months. Per the log files from prior workstation scans, it

        • by jp10558 ( 748604 )

          So get a free security suite. Comodo IS for instance is HIPS, Firewall, Sandbox and the like, and will block or sandbox things it doesn't recognize, well before there's a signature. It also can use their cloud engine for near realtime signature updates for the lightly used AV engine (it's not needed much as HIPS etc blocks before AV would scan in my experience)...

    • I have been in this field for ages. I've dabbled in software as well as in hardware

      This sentence says it all

      Intel is a traditionally very stable company

      In our field, 'traditionally very stable' is another of saying that the thing is stale

      Look at Intel, for crying out loud. Has there been anything really interesting / exciting coming out from Intel for the past decades??

      • Please be excited about Thunderbolt! I mean Lightning! I mean, Thunderbolt! I mean USB 3.0! I mean USB 3.1! I mean USB C!!!

      • Look at Intel, for crying out loud. Has there been anything really interesting / exciting coming out from Intel for the past decades??

        The Core micro-architecture was within the last decade and that was very interesting and exciting. Sandy Bridge was also a pretty good milestone.

        • Let's not forget the PCIe bus. Not to be confused with any of its predecessors (e.g. PCIx). It isn't so much a bus as it is a point-to-point store-and-forward network on the motherboard. Fully bidirectional with separate up/down lanes (e.g. no waiting to "turn the line around"). It is [IMO], the first bus they got truly right. It's even the basis of the latest SATA specs for SSD's.

          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

            PCIe is almost good enough to forgive them for USB...

            Their small form factor mobos and PCs like NUC are quite interesting as well, if overpriced.

    • Re:Fuck McAfee (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Demonoid-Penguin ( 1669014 ) on Thursday July 09, 2015 @03:58AM (#50074237) Homepage

      Fuck McAfee Mod +5 Insightful because you know it is.

      No, I won't. And no I don't.
      It's two words that give no illumination on the subject. How do you suppose that enlightens anyone? Hint: your sexual preferences aren't interesting.

      How about:-

      I have no idea what the purchase price was for McAfee, or what it's existing revenue stream was/is - but I have to wonder whether the people that made the decision truly consider it's effect on Intel's image, and whether they costed a plan to turn around the scumbag image McAfee has. ?

      • Re:Fuck McAfee (Score:5, Informative)

        by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@worl d 3 . net> on Thursday July 09, 2015 @05:57AM (#50074495) Homepage

        Intel paid $7.68 billion for McAfee. While their consumer products are notoriously crappy they do actually have some cred for their business software. Most of their business is providing services to companies such as email archival, spam protection and anti-virus. Software as a Service as they call it, or running an external mail server as the rest of us would say. They make high end encryption products too, that have all the various certifications needed for government work.

        It's still not really clear what Intel hoped to gain by buying McAfee... Did they want in to those markets, or were they hoping to add new security features to their CPUs?

        • Someone mod that [slashdot.org] up as informative. Please?

          Intel paid $7.68 billion for McAfee. While their consumer products are notoriously crappy they do actually have some cred for their business software. Most of their business is providing services to companies such as email archival, spam protection and anti-virus. Software as a Service as they call it, or running an external mail server as the rest of us would say. They make high end encryption products too, that have all the various certifications needed for government work.

          Thanks - that I would've moderated as informative (but I've already posted in this story, sorry).

          It's still not really clear what Intel hoped to gain by buying McAfee... Did they want in to those markets, or were they hoping to add new security features to their CPUs?

          Yeah - it seems weird, but I'm entirely ignorant of what other investments Intel has. I could jest that they bought McAfee as a public service - with plans to keep the crappy stuff they push off the market. (actually, I just did. Badly).

          I'd forgotten about the PGP side of McAfee - Intel® AES-NI [wikipedia.org]??

          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

            To be fair to McAfee, their stinger app isn't too bad. I think their detection system is actually quite reasonable, it's just the consumer front end that is filled with hatred and contempt for the user. Apparently their enterprise stuff, endpoint security or whatever they call it these days, is okay. Seems incredible, doesn't it?

            • by viega ( 564643 )
              The "crown jewel" of McAfee is ePO -- "ePolicy Orchestrator". Basically centralized management for your AV deployment (and will even managed SYMC AV), as well as any other McAfee product, and a host of 3rd party security products that have integrated into the ecosystem.

              It STILL dominates the enterprise market, no matter how crap McAfee AV is.

          • Re:Fuck McAfee (Score:4, Informative)

            by viega ( 564643 ) <(gro.tsil) (ta) (ageiv)> on Thursday July 09, 2015 @10:27AM (#50075565) Homepage
            My (somewhat informed, but could still be wrong) guess as to what Intel was thinking at the time (remembering that this was about 5 years ago):

            Intel had made a big investment in enterprise chipsets with features like VT and AMT. They were hoping to speed up enterprise hardware refresh rates for a decade or so by continuing to provide highly compelling enterprise features in hardware.

            One area they thought held particular promise was security. They were interested in AV companies leveraging a combination of VT and AMT to provide a more secure environment-- basically they wanted to see host-based security technology live outside the end-user's OS, but still reach in to detect and protect. That way, if a box did get popped, you could still update signatures, etc and have some reasonable hope that you could actually repair the OS without wiping it. Lots of other little bits in the vision.

            The big problem for Intel was that they needed security vendors to build and sell software on top of this platform. But it was a bit of a "chicken and egg" problem, where there wasn't enough of a hardware footprint to justify a product investment, and so there wasn't enough compelling reason for people to pay extra for the hardware.

            Intel pushed most A/V companies hard for some investment in the area, and McAfee actually did peel off a SMALL team to work on it (quite possibly the best engineering team w/in McAfee actually). They spent maybe a year making some good progress, and then when DeWalt was trimming down to save costs, that team got cut.

            I'd heard that Intel was enraged. I can imagine them thinking they needed to control their own destiny-- get the security software built that they thought would drive faster hardware refreshes. McAfee had been the most amenable, and was definitely primping itself to be acquired.

            By the way, McAfee does NOT own PGP. They'd spun it back out, and it got re-acquired by Symantec.

            • My (somewhat informed, but could still be wrong) guess as to what Intel was thinking at the time (remembering that this was about 5 years ago):

              [...]

              Interesting.

              By the way, McAfee does NOT own PGP. They'd spun it back out, and it got re-acquired by Symantec.

              My mistake. (thanks).

        • They had new security features in their CPU's already. They needed partners in the security industry to integrate same.

          McAfee was an early partner. Intel thought they did a reasonably good job at integrating the new features (prototypes of DeepCommand, etc.). At the time, Intel's hardware lines were saturating (except in mobile where they were still scrambling to catch up), they thought they'd done OK with the Wind River acquisition, so why not buy an evergreen cash generator of a software company? So the

  • by alzoron ( 210577 ) on Thursday July 09, 2015 @03:24AM (#50074165) Journal
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I would just like to point out that the summary is incorrect. Renee was the head of Intel's Software and Services Division (SSG.) When she became company president she gave that role to the current SSG manager, Dong Fisher. However, the McAfee acquisition happened while Renee ran SSG, and she had a lot of influence on the decision.

    To be fair though, the previous CEO (Paul Otellini) had the goal of wanting new revenue from software sales so Renee probably just tried to pick some existing company that had

  • That would be new one. Usually when an executive makes a bad decision, the executive responds by laying off a bunch of little folks.

    • That happens more often then you would think.
      Usually what happens the CEO gets fired with all the little people too.
      Mergers, Acquisitions, Re-Organizations are things as employees you should be worried about mostly.
      Mergers - You put together two companies. Now there are a lot of people now doing duplicate jobs, who job can scale up, to support a larger organization. Lets say a system administrator, a good one can say handle 100 servers nearly just as well as 200, their ability won't be cut in half, becaus

  • his infamous bath salts.
  • but the company?? Are you kidding me?

    Dont act surprised when that re-org happens and you dont have a seat.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 09, 2015 @09:05AM (#50075093)

    The reality is that James never fit in as Intel's president, and they are likely better off with her being gone.

    Intel was and still is a hardware company first and foremost. The world's leading foundry and pretty good chip designers too. However James came from the side of Intel that handled software and services; she was a software person through and through. And while I disagree with TFA that the McAfee acquisition was a complete folly - it was a good fit for Intel's computer management technology development - it doesn't change the fact that it's but a small part of what Intel does.

    Promoting someone likes James to such a high position in the company, overseeing both hardware and software, was a mistake. James was out of her element, and while she didn't do anything fatal, she lacked the background necessary to lead a hardware company like Intel. She would be better off at an Oracle or HP-like company, where software and services are a greater focus and her skills would be more applicable.

  • by EmperorOfCanada ( 1332175 ) on Thursday July 09, 2015 @12:06PM (#50076147)
    Anyone with enough technological know-how to reboot a computer knows that McAfee is one of the worst things you can do to a computer. So even if Intel fully intended to throw out that bloated sack of excrement and recode it from scratch the reputation it has earned pretty well makes its brand worth negative money. If anything it would make intel look worse.

    The only thing that made McAfee software was an evil business model. Thus Intel had two choices. maintain the evil business model to retain any monetary value from their purchase, or to abandon the model and forego any profits/revenues that McAfee would bring in.

    To me the only value that I would see in McAfee would be to do a historical analysis to figure out how they became so broken so as to be able to form a checklist that Intel could use going forward to make sure that they never follow the same path.

    My fear for Intel is that some psychopathic executives have made the jump from McAfee to Intel and are like ebola being released into a kindergarten. They will flourish and spread while leaving Intel a twitching bleeding from every orifice corpse. I could see Intel executives thinking themselves cunning where they do a huge deal so as to get closer the next promotion whereas a McAfee executive would falsify data to shut down an entire department so that he gets a slightly better parking space.
    • My fear for Intel is that some psychopathic executives have made the jump from McAfee to Intel and are like ebola being released into a kindergarten. They will flourish and spread while leaving Intel a twitching bleeding from every orifice corpse. I could see Intel executives thinking themselves cunning where they do a huge deal so as to get closer the next promotion whereas a McAfee executive would falsify data to shut down an entire department so that he gets a slightly better parking space.

      Actually, that

      • I think your quote "the worst software on the planet" is missing some swearing and hookers.

        As for the assigned parking spaces then the McAfee execs have two steps ahead of them. First get an assigned parking space policy, then they will be able to screw people out of their parking spaces.

        I visited a company once where there was a long wide hallway that ran from one end of the main building to the other and a rabbit's warren of hallways that ran parallel. A few execs had card reading door locks installe
        • I think your quote "the worst software on the planet" is missing some swearing and hookers.

          John McAfee is indeed a colorful character, but so was Steve Jobs. If he popped up tomorrow out of hiding, revealed that his death had been faked, and then proceeded to tell the world that Apple products are complete trash, what would that do to Apple's sales? Yet somehow, McAfee keeps selling their crapware.

          I very much doubt that the McAfee people were any different and letting people like that into your building

          • I can be 100% sure that he is dead. Otherwise he would have come back and beat Ivy to death, not out of uncontrolled anger, but to prove a point that it is an oversized clunky pile of crap.

Happiness is a hard disk.

Working...