Wednesday, April 21, 2010


9am ET: McAfee sends an update to their security suite.

Not long afterward, users of Windows XP get a message saying McAfee found a critical virus and needs to reboot to remove it.

And BOOM there goes your computer!

Well, thankfully not mine.

McAfee officials were red-faced to explain how they overlooked the fact that their latest virus update would declare a crucial element of the Windows XP operating system a virus, and that removing that crucial element would force XP users into a continual reboot-and-crash scenario. Even after tens of thousands of irate McAfee customers sounded off, McAfee officials claimed that evening that they had "no idea" of the impact of their "modest mistake".

The digital fail only affected computers that used the Microsoft Windows XP SP3 operating system. The same operating system that Microsoft has been trying to force into oblivion for several years. But that still doesn't change the fact that THOUSANDS of computer users who pay for their security service were without their computers, and some of those users could not afford to be without those computers. We're talking government agencies that suddenly had to back to the 1970's, or else shut down their computer-aided services.

Even their own website blog didn't even TRY to sound apologetic for what happened, acting instead as though it was a minor inconvenience to a vast minority of computer users.

This is a huge mistake for McAfee, and not just in terms of public relations. Police departments, jails, colleges, even hospitals were affected by this gross shutdown. The deputy chief of information in the District of Columbia has now put McAfee on his blacklist. These people will probably not continue using McAfee in the near future.

It is precisely this kind of corporate indifference that Americans have come to despise, no matter the company or how essential their services are. McAfee's money isn't just in immediate software sales, but in long-term SUBSCRIPTION sales. If people cannot feel they can trust McAfee, they WILL find some other service. That is a fact of business that McAfee executives need to realize and immediately address.