Symantec Corporation , founded in 1982, is an international corporation which sells computer software, particularly in the realms of security and information management. Headquartered in Cupertino, California, USA, Symantec has operations in more than 40 countries and is part of the NASDAQ 100 and Fortune 500 2008 Symantec is one of the ten largest software companies in the world.


Symantec first became well-known as the publisher of Q & A, a dual-mode product that was both a word processor and a database. During the 1990s, Symantec switched focus away from development of its own products and towards acquisition of other companies. An early purchase gave Symantec ownership of Norton Utilities, created in the mid-1980s by software engineer Peter Norton. At one time Symantec was also known for its development tools, particularly the THINK Pascal, THINK C, Symantec C++, and Visual Cafe packages that were popular on the Macintosh and IBM PC compatible platforms; they exited this business in the late-1990s as competitors such as Metrowerks, Microsoft, and Borland gained significant market share.

In recent years, Symantec has been primarily known for its Norton-branded antivirus and utility software. Products released under the Symantec name include Norton AntiVirus, Norton Commander, Norton Internet Security, Norton 360, Norton Personal Firewall, Norton SystemWorks (which now contains Norton Utilities), Norton Password Manager, Norton AntiSpam, Norton GoBack (formerly Roxio GoBack), Norton Confidential, Norton Antibot and Norton Ghost (originally published by Binary Research).

Due to the 2003 acquisition of PowerQuest, Symantec continues to sell, but not develop, the last version of PartitionMagic, now called Norton PartitionMagic. This is true as well of the NetWare partition manager, ServerMagic. PowerQuest's Drive Image software replaced the original Norton Ghost software, yet retains Norton Ghost as its name.

Symantec is also an industry leader in comprehensive electronic messaging security, offering solutions for instant messaging, antispam, antivirus, legal compliance, content compliance, legal discovery and message archiving.

The Symantec Security Response organization (formerly Symantec Antivirus Research Center) is one of the foremost antivirus and computer security research groups in the industry.

On December 16, 2004, Veritas and Symantec announced their plans for a merger. With Veritas valued at $13.5 billion, it was the largest software industry merger to date. Symantec's shareholders voted to approve the merger on June 24, 2005; the deal closed successfully on July 2 2005. July 5, 2005 was the first day of business for U.S. offices of the new, combined software company. After the merger, Symantec now includes storage related products in its portfolio. Veritas File System (VxFS), Veritas Volume Manager (VxVM) and Veritas Volume Replicator are but three.

On August 16, 2005, Symantec acquired Sygate a security software firm with about 200 staff, based in Fremont, California. As of November 30, 2005 all Sygate personal firewall products were discontinued by Symantec and now appears to be part of Symantec's Norton range called Norton Personal Firewall.

On January 29, 2007, Symantec announced plans to acquire Altiris and on April 6, 2007 the acquisition was completed. Altiris specializes in service-oriented management software which allows organizations to manage IT assets. They also provide software for web services, security, and systems management products. Established in 1998, Altiris is headquartered in Lindon, Utah, United States.

On January 17, 2008, Symantec announced that they were spinning off the Application Performance Management (Precise Software Solutions) business to Vector Capital. Upon closing of the transaction, Precise Software Solutions will take over all development, product management, marketing and sales for the APM business. To ensure a smooth transition for customers and the new company overall, Symantec will continue to support the APM business post closing via a transition services agreement. Additionally, Symantec and Vector have signed an agreement allowing Symantec to continue to sell APM software and support to its customers. Further, Symantec will continue to honor the terms and conditions of its support commitments to its customers, and will leverage the APM personnel transferred over to Precise Software Solutions to ensure continuity of support. This business unit contains all the i3 products.

On October 9th, 2008, Symantec announced that they were to aquire Gloucester based MessageLabs (who spun off from their parent company Star Internet in 2007) to boost their Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. MessageLabs' staff have been ribbed for being absorbed in to the Symantec collective.

The latest major release from Symantec is Norton 360 2.0 (released on March 6, 2008), which contains the features of the original plus network monitoring, identity protection, and an improved backup system.

For a fuller list of acquisitions, see List of Symantec acquisitions.

See also


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