The dark satanic rumour mill has manufactured a hellish yarn which claims that Microsoft's Steve “Sounds of Silence” Ballmer is about to buy Symantec. Shares in the security outfit rocketed yesterday on the back of news that Steve was about to open his vast pocket book and write a cheque.
It all started when Jefferies & Co. analyst Katherine Egbert stated in a Tuesday research report that the company could be worth $19-$20 a share to a buyer. She stated that a deal for the company was unlikely but added that investors could push the company to make high-level management changes.
Quite how this turned into “Microsoft is going to buy the company” is anyone's guess. The suggestion that now Intel has bought McAffee it is open season on security companies does not really work out.
Symantec is just pulling itself out of a marsh caused by the fact that its products had gained a reputation for slowing computers down. Its latest versions are a bit quicker, but it is facing a lot of inertia towards it. The last thing that Microsoft would want to be associated with is product that has a reputation for being slow.
Redmond already has Microsoft Security Essentials which it is giving away, and it is not that bad. Certainly worth the price.