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McAfee anti-virus will now be known as Intel Security

McAfee anti-virus – one of the oldest and best-known security suites around – will soon be no more. The software bearing the name of creator John McAfee will soon be rebranded Intel Security, the company announced on Monday at CES. It’ll form part of the chipmaker’s collection of software for end-users. Intel originally acquired McAfee in February 2011.

In an interview with Reuters John McAfee said, “I’ve been begging them to drop the brand or fix the product”.

Perhaps it’s best for Intel’s reputation, though. In 2012 John McAfee was wanted by authorities in Belize for questioning, after his neighbour was found shot dead. He went on the run, escaping Guatemala where he was eventually arrested by police for illegally entering the country. He was eventually deported back to the United States, where he went on to appear in a spoof video that made fun of the very software that bears his name.

Though Intel’s chief technology officer Michael Fey said that many in the industry knew that McAfee wasn’t actively involved with the software for the last two decades, and knew that it was just him fooling around.

With a new name Intel can still use the technology in the McAfee anti-virus software, while avoiding association with the scandalous McAfee himself. There’s also an opportunity for Intel to reinvent parts of the software that users have complained about – one of them having been highlighted in McAfee’s video.

Rival anti-virus software firm Norton also suffered backlash from user when its software, often pre-installed on new computers, proved not only difficult to remove, but also negatively impacted the performance of machines. Norton started anew in 2008, when it presented a rewritten version of its anti-virus software that was faster, and installed (or uninstalled) in less than sixty seconds.

However, its legacy remained and despite all-new software the Norton brand still had a bad reputation among users. If Intel does good things with its software in addition to changing the name, it could avoid suffering the same fate.

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