back to article McAfee seeks $2bn return to stock market after Intel unpleasantness

Security software outfit McAfee has filed to return to the stock market. McAfee has been there before: when Intel bought the company in 2010 it was listed on the New York Stock Exchange. This time around it’s looking for a NASDAQ listing and its registration statement says is part of a plan hatched back in 2017 when it was …

  1. El blissett

    Who out there has positive views of the McAfee brand??

    When I think of McAfee, I either remember the omnipresent crapware of the early 00s, or John McAfee waving a gun around and absconding from Latin America with a murder charge.

    1. WolfFan Silver badge

      Come on, be fair. Belize is the former British Honduras, and is most emphatically NOT Latin America. Prior to independence, they point-blank refused to let go of Mama England unless and until Mama England did something about the nasty neighbors; Guatemala literally dug up an old Spanish map which proved, proved without any doubt, that southern Belize (the part which allegedly had oil) belonged to them, and was stolen by Perfidious Albion. They then waited for the ink to dry (not making this up...) and waved it around. Belize declined to go until HM Gov provided security, in the shape of a battalion of Gurkhas and a squadron of Harriers.

      Besides, I just love the little video John McAfee made of how to uninstall McAfee antivirus. I particularly love his take on backing up. And yes, for those who haven’t seen it, guns are prominent. is the link. Enjoy.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I have positive views of the McAfee brand

      It's made me a lot of money over the years, I don't think that the McAfee software is very good so I don't run it but the company has been very profitable ... this is far more important in America than making AV software that works. I'd provide a lot more details but my friends have just started telling me they’re getting strange random messages from me on Facebook which I didn’t send and all the files on my computer have turned into shortcuts - odd, I can't open the control panel.

  2. Andy Non Silver badge

    "buying into a trusted name"

    Nearly fell off my chair laughing.

    (Previous experiences dealing with them were substantially less than favourable)

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    From where I am sitting enterprises are ditching all of the old names in endpoint protection for MS Defender (actually a pretty evolved decent product - hard to believe I know...) and the home users would be doing the same if only they could manage to uninstall the damned Mcafee/Symantec thing which seemingly digs in deeper than a chinese hacker.

    In terms of investment in McAfee now? As the dragon's say..."I'm out"

    1. Boothy

      Re: Decline

      Quote: "...and the home users would be doing the same if only they could manage to uninstall the damned Mcafee/Symantec thing which seemingly digs in deeper than a chinese hacker".

      Quite a few years ago my parents had got themselves a basic laptop, and this came with McAfee pre-installed. Usual three months free situation.

      I turned up to visit, and seems the free period was up, so my Dad had had a go uninstalling it, he'd done this before for other apps. But each re-boot, McAfee came back, seemingly some sort of auto repair process!

      By the time I looked at it, it was a mess, McAfee itself wasn't running properly (errors on login), and none of the list McAfee 'apps' in Windows could be uninstalled, throwing errors each time.

      Even a McAfee removal tool, and a 3rd party one, didn't work, and trying to do a fresh install of McAfee over the top, in order to then remove it afterwards, also failed with errors!

      I ended up using Safe Mode and other tricks, to physically remove all McAfee components and registry entries by hand. This took at least three goes, as a reboot and McAfee would try to re-install itself again, but fail! So would put some things back that I'd removed already. Once complete I then ran check disk and a reg clean up tool (carefully!), to clean up any remaining McAfee related stragglers like dlls etc.

      In hindsight, I should have just backed up my dads documents, wiped the machine and installed Windows fresh. But this was back in the days when you didn't get install media with the OEM machines, and I didn't have a copy of Windows on me. (He was an MS Office user, so Linux wasn't an option either, and this was before the days of O365).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Decline

        Yup, exactly that... i know the product needs some defences against uninstall, because threat actors do often uninstall endpoint protection..... but.... give me my damned machine back you bastids!

    2. Wade Burchette

      Re: Decline

      There was a time when McAfee was quite good. That was about two decades ago.

      Now ... McAfee slows down your machine just like a having a lead anchor towed behind your car. And worse, it couldn't find water standing waist deep in the ocean, much less malware. I actually thought Intel made their product worse; jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none. I think the only reason they make any money is because they bribe computer manufacturers to pre-load it and so clueless users pay for it because it is easier.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Decline

        I thought McAfee the software was being rebranded back to Intel after McAfee the man released that video on how to uninstall the AV sofware (NSFW - but kind of fun to watch now and again when I have to deal with it!)

  4. Mike Lewis

    McAfee asserts its brand will help it grow consumer sales

    Not to me. While I was doing volunteer work at a community computer centre, there was a steady stream of very upset people who had spent what little money they had on a HP laptop and found it was quite slow. I replaced its factory-installed McAfee with the free version of Avira and they went away quite happy.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How many corps are now dropping McAfee? Or are still using it?

    I work for a 50,000+ US corp, although I'm based in the UK.

    We've been using McAfee for decades, as AV, policy enforcement, auditing, firewall etc. i.e. a full suite.

    It's always been an absolute nightmare, major resource hog, especially on a HDD, with services that really should be background tasks, seeming to run at the same priority as the user, so fight with the user for CPU resources all the time, and an auto update process that would only update so much, with Windows eventually warning you that McAfee was out of date, and requiring you to launch McAfee and hit the update button yourself!

    For years I've booted up my laptop on a morning, logged in, then locked the screen and gone for a coffee, or breakfast, then come back, as the machine would basically be unusable for at least 10 mins. This was helped a little bit by SSDs replacing HDDs over time, but that's just obscuring the issues, rather than fixing them.

    Didn't matter how much complaining was done, no one ever seemed to look into it.

    Then suddenly late last year, a compete new Windows 10 Enterprise 1909 image was created, almost all 3rd party tools were dropped, including McAfee, Adobe etc, replaced by standard Microsoft features where available (AV, policy enforcement, Firewall etc). With the only 3rd party tools remaining being a VPN client (which is the same as we used before), and a security tool (a secure proxy for all Internet traffic when not on the corp LAN). Even the image itself was a massive improvement, the previous one being full of custom scripting, which took all day to run, the new image is just a slightly customised wrapper around the standard MS Win 10 installer/updater.

    The laptop, once McAfee was gone, was noticeable faster, especially on login after a cold boot up. I can now log in, and after a few seconds start using the machine.

    I say goodbye and good riddance to McAfee, I hope never to see you again.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How many corps are now dropping McAfee? Or are still using it?

      Same scenario here...

      And that's before you actually have to try to use it from a EntSec operations point of view.

      The telemetry via EPO, awful, the signatures, woeful, resource consumption, outrageous.

      Conversations with McCrappy themselves? "oh we don't protect against THAT, its not a 'virus'"

      I remember Mcafee from the late 80's, it was good.... these days, not at all..

    2. avakum.zahov

      Re: How many corps are now dropping McAfee? Or are still using it?

      I also work for a big US corporation (200K + worldwide). We are firmly in bed with McAfee. My laptop has become unusable. The CPU load is 60-70% when idle. But our Infosec, in their infinite wisdom, keep on piling security "malware" on our PCs/Laptops. The number of different McAfee services keeps on growing but there is also Tanium and CyberArc and ...

      Several days ago I had to go to the office and when passing the Help desk area I saw piles of used laptops and most of them had a sticker - "very, very slow".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How many corps are now dropping McAfee? Or are still using it?

        I'm the OP AC (not that I can prove that of course!).

        From what I know, we had someone new join the company, straight in at an exec level in the USA, and who had the ear of the CEO etc (probably golfing buddies!).

        Rumour has it, that while the exec got a nice shinny new top end laptop/netbook, their PA had a standard company issued netbook straight from the pool (so a pre-used one that still had a HDD, 8GB mem, slow 4 thread CPU etc), i.e. same as probably 95% of the workforce. (We had lots in the pool due to many redundancies in recent years, i.e. annual head-count-reduction programmes!).

        The exec apparently noticed how slow their PAs netbook was to boot up and just use in general, and they happened to be in the right part of the food chain to be able to dictate things around PC builds etc. So they had someone look into it.

        This has happened before (the looking into it), I had a long chat with one of the PMs about 10 years ago, and they'd been tasked with looking at this very issue. They found we had things like three different auditing application with background services all doing audits at the same time, all implemented by different people at different times with slightly different requirements! Rather than just picking one tool to audit what was on the PCs, they just added an additional one each time! Plus things like over zealous AV settings that would do a full system scan every time the definitions were updated, which was typically twice a week and took about 6 hours on my PC. Plus of course all these were started at the same time, usually just after boot up! But the project to do the work, never happened.

        This time round, seems the exec had some funding, and managed to push a business case through (people wasting time, reduced software licencing (McAfee etc) etc vs tools provided by MS that were most likely already included in existing licences, just not used), and so this time we actually got the new image!

        Didn't even need to send the laptop/netbook in to get done, you can do an in-place upgrade (just run from the desktop), which resolves most issues, or create a bootable USB, which wipes the PC and puts a fresh install on, which resolves the same issues, but also enables a bunch of other features that you don't get with the in-place upgrade, that just make life easier, like Windows Hello, so I can use the fingerprint reader (was disabled by policy before) or camera, or even a fixed PIN number to log in!

        Apparently they also updated the refresh programme, previously it was just if PC > 4 years old, get one from the pool, now its if PC > 4 years old OR has a HDD fitted, get one from the pool. But the pool has also been purged to get rid of all the older models, base spec now being 8 thread CPU, 16GB mem, and an SSD.

  6. tin 2

    Came here to say...

    ....things that people already said. I know nobody whos actually in IT that has a good thing to say about anything McAfee. Can only imagine they drop their pants on pricing all the time, and someone somewhat higher signs up to making their IT unusable for a 5 year contract.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Came here to say...

      The problem they have now is that MS are cheaper whores than even them..... a few dollars, tag it onto your MS enterprise subscription, easy. Everyone has a MS subscription now anyway - you can't buy anything MS without a subscription now.

      As I said further up, MS Defender actually isn't even a bad technical choice, although when it was first suggested here we all did a "WTF!" before we tested it.

  7. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Who says you can't teach an old John new tricks? Any good hooker will tell you different

    McAfee’s makes the observation that it faces challenges including “… the continued decline in the sale of new personal computers, and the rise of mobility and cloud-based solutions, all of which make satisfying our customers’ diverse and evolving needs more challenging.

    How very fortunate for they in the know that know how such things grow, that both those particular declines and peculiar rises are addressed and serviced by novel software applications programs verging on the edge of being classified virtual pogroms by failed and failing systems administrations.

    Indeed, such addressed industrious services may easily be characterized by rapidly changing technologies and business plans, which require them to adapt quickly to increasingly complex cybersecurity requirements too, which might, .... for there is always a negative risk to be introduced into any capitalising market to allow for alternative hedging derivative bets/laundered money churn ..... make such novel software applications programs services ultra secure and extremely reliable ..... Prime AAA Stock, with others, who may be as competition and opposition hoping it might not be so, as it would decimate and/or destroy their own planned future projects.

  8. Miss Config

    For Macs As Well

    Question :

    Which is more surprising :

    1) that McAfee sells its software for Macs as well ?


    2) that this fact is not mentioned in this Reg article ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: For Macs As Well

      @ Miss Config

      Quote "Which is more surprising :

      1) that McAfee sells its software for Macs as well ?" Unquote

      Quote "2) that this fact is not mentioned in this Reg article ?" Unquote

      This problem affects All operating systems. I think ElReg was just being unbiased.

      Unlike you

      Cheers… Ishy

      1. Miss Config

        Re: For Macs As Well

        as I type this I am trying to figure exactly which 'problem' you mean.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Flash? AAAAARGH!

    This is the company that was told (like everyone else) in the summer of 2017 that Flash would be taken behind the shed on 31 December 2020. Three and a half years to get off Flash and produce a working HTML5 interface for their ESM.

    They failed. Looks like we are going to have to use an "encapsulated" version of Flash well into 2021.

  10. redpawn

    Be Nice!

    Buying puts or short selling would be unsportsmanlike like.

  11. EnviableOne

    No-one likes the new stuff

    Turns out most people still using it dont like the new version, and arent upgrading

    if they can't even get their own customers onto the latest version, why would anyone invest

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