Intel would be wise to continue McAfee's successful consumer security software business, as it has been bringing in increased revenue, Contu said. In terms of the overall security market, the acquisition is likely to have an impact on Symantec, as it is McAfee's most direct competitor, Contu said.
"We'll see how it shakes out," Contu said.
The deal brings Intel a wealth of security technologies, such as encryption, data loss prevention and Web messaging, said Chris Christiansen, program vice president for analyst IDC. McAfee has a large network security business, and its engineers will now have access to Intel's manufacturing processes, advanced engineering capabilities and chip designs.
The premium price paid by Intel for McAfee indicates there may have been a bidding war, which is likely to spark a frenzy of acquisitions from other players such as Oracle and IBM, Christiansen said.
"I can't imagine that the unsuccessful bidders will simply just go away," he said.
(Marc Ferranti in New York contributed to this report.)