What happened to McAfee and Postini?

Slashdot asked the other day, "Why Are Major Companies Exiting the Spam Filtering Business?" It sounds a bit like they're trying to take two events and define them together as a trend, but I don't think that holds up under scrutiny.

I guess they've got a point about MXLogic. MxLogic was purchased by McAfee in 2009. McAfee was bought up by Intel in 2010. And now Intel has announced that McAfee's Software-as-a-Service anti-spam solution will be shut down in January, 2017. They're recommending Proofpoint as an alternative solution. So they certainly seem to be saying bye-bye.

But they also talk about Postini. Google purchased Postini in 2007. They later announced that they were shutting down Postini, with users to be transitioned to Google Apps by sometime in 2015. This, to me, is somewhat less of a surprise -- I think it was obvious that Google purchased Postini to shore up its own anti-spam efforts, and I'm sure whatever Google felt was useful about Postini probably made its way into Gmail or Google Apps' own spam filtering functionality. So Postini didn't really disappear so much as become some tiny little hidden bit of Google.

Spam filtering still seems like a big, lucrative deal to me. It's certainly a selling point for Google Apps, and other B2B and B2C providers spend lots of money on perfecting spam filtering. Thus, I don't think that it's accurate to say that something must be up here, that "big companies are exiting the space," because it only really seems like Intel is the one saying they don't want to be a part of that space. What do you think, dear reader?

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