Intel's decision to buy McAfee, announced today, presents some potential upside for VARs and MSPs. But the bigger story is the hidden meaning of the Intel-McAfee deal. By acquiring McAfee, Intel essentially shows that it has lost faith in Microsoft and Symantec as the world of IT increasingly shifts to the cloud. Here's why.

Imagine the following situation: You're Intel. For more than two decades, you've depended on partners like Microsoft and Symantec to safeguard Windows PCs and servers. But for the most part, the world of Windows remains plagued by security and malware issues.

Decision Day Finally Arrives

Now, the world is shifting to mobile devices and cloud computing. CIOs and major customers say their biggest cloud concern is security. If you're Intel -- do you continue to depend on partners like Microsoft and Symantec to safeguard customer systems and data that flows across the Internet? Or do you step in to solve the problem yourself?

Intel answered that question today, announcing plans to acquire McAfee for roughly $7.68 billion in cash. The bold move positions Intel to help safeguard existing IT systems as well as next-generation devices that go far beyond traditional Windows offerings. Moreover, McAfee has a strong story in the SaaS security market, having acquired MX Logic and retained loyal MX Logic channel partners along the way.

The VAR Guy doesn't want to overstate the situation: Certainly, Intel will continue to work closely with partners like Microsoft and Symantec. But going forward, when it comes to security, the company Intel will trust most is... um.. Intel.

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