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News Flash: Published Report Says Microsoft May Buy Network Associates
News Flash: Published Report Says Microsoft May Buy Network Associates

Network Associates, the anti-virus house, is up for sale and virus-ridden Microsoft, which in just last few weeks has been promising to deliver a remedy, is the reported buyer, according to CRN, which heard the tale in the channel.

Network Associates' market cap when the story started circulating was close to $2.75 billion, a mere drop in the bucket for Microsoft's mighty resources.

CRN cites a reseller speculating that Network Associates, which recently changed its name to mirror that of its McAfee line, has been tailoring itself specifically for a Microsoft buy and dumping stuff like its PGP encryption line, its Gauntlet firewall business and most recently its Sniffer network monitoring division that Microsoft doesn't want.

Network Associates is also supposed to be preparing for layoffs and when it makes the cuts, reportedly on July 1, it could announce its acquisition, the paper said. Both Network Associates and Microsoft declined to comment.

If true, the acquisition would put Microsoft in competition with Symantec, Computer Associates and Trend Micro.

In the last couple of weeks, in the wake of an extreme spike in nasty virus activity, Microsoft security chief Mike Nash raised the specter of Microsoft fielding its own virus product in a widely quoted dinner speech.

Nash indicated that Microsoft would break with tradition and not bundle the anti-virus technology with the Windows operating system.

When one thinks about it, such a sudden change in policy would make a certain amount of sense if Microsoft were planning to buy an existing franchise. At least as much sense as it would to imagine that Microsoft had finally gotten religion and had started taking seriously objections to its bundling practices like those of the European Commission to the Windows Media Player being in Windows.

Ironically, just last week Network Associates former CFO Prabhat Goyal was hauled into court on 20 counts of securities fraud and obstruction of justice. He allegedly hid $330 million in losses between 1998 and 2000 and inflated the amount of the software the company sold. The government's investigation continues.

Microsoft last year bought anti-virus widgetry from GeCAD Software Srl, the Romanian outfit.

About Maureen O'Gara
Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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Reader Feedback: Page 1 of 1

I will never run a MS Based virus scanner (I dont trust the XP Firewall software either). I have used the McAfee antivirus line for years, and had trusted them to protect my Windows boxes from the malicious virii out in the wild.

MS has enough security issues they need to tackle - it won't be long before someone figures out how to bypass a MS based scanner - especially if it is bundled with future editions of Windows.

Looks like some competition is going to get my business - and most likely many many other peoples and organizations.

.... But Microsoft have already long since bought the RAV antivirus product, why would they want to buy another one? Seems a little ludicrous....




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