There's been quite a bit of head-scratching over Intel's decision to purchase McAfee, but, despite all the breathless talk about mobile security and ARM and virus-fighting processors, the chipmaker's motivations for the purchase are actually fairly straightforward. First, Intel's management has decided, in the wake of Operation Aurora
, to move security up to the top of Intel's priority list. Second, secure systems require a lot more than just hardware support—security is about the whole stack, plus the network, plus policies and practices. Third, Intel has waited for ages for its ecosystem partners to come up with ways to give consumers access to vPro's security benefits, and little has really panned out so now they're just going to take vPro (and any newer security technologies) directly to consumers via McAfee.
Let's take a look at each of these reasons in turn.