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Symantec building in Cupertino

Symantec is the largest maker of security software, and the seventh largest software company in the world.Symantec Corporation was founded in 1982 by Gary Hendrix with a National Science Foundation grant. Symantec was originally focused on artificial intelligence-related projects, including a database program. Hendrix hired several Stanford Universitymarker natural language processing researchers as the company's first employees. In 1984 Symantec was acquired by another, even smaller computer software startup company, C&E Software, founded by Denis Coleman and Gordon Eubanks and headed by Eubanks. The merged company retained the name Symantec, and Eubanks became its chief executive officer. Its first product, Q&A, was released in 1985. Q&A provided database management and bundled a word processor. In August of 1990, Symantec purchased Peter Norton Computing a developer of various applications for DOS. Symantec's consumer antivirus and data management utilities are still marketed under Peter Norton's name.



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.

Norton products

Symantec's consumer division, Norton, accounts for about one third of the company's revenue. The 2009 line-up includes Norton 360, Norton AntiVirus (for Windows and Mac), Norton Internet Security, Norton SystemWorks (which now contains Norton Utilities), Norton Save & Restore, Norton Ghost, Norton pcAnywhere, Norton Smartphone Security, Norton Partition Magic, Norton Online Backup, and OnlineFamily.Norton.

The Symantec Security Response organization (formerly Symantec Antivirus Research Center) is one of the foremost antivirus and computer security research groups in the industry with over 400 full-time employees.

Enterprise software

Approximately two-thirds of the company's revenue is derived from software designed for companies and large organizations -- i.e., enterprise software.

Symantec substantially grew its enterprise business when it acquired VERITAS Software

Mergers and Acquisitions

Veritas acquisition
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. As a result of this merger, Symantec includes storage and availability related products in its portfolio namely Veritas File System (VxFS), Veritas Volume Manager (VxVM), Veritas Volume Replicator (VVR) and Veritas Cluster Server (VCS).

Sygate acquisition
On August 16, 2005, Symantec acquired Sygate a security software firm with about 200 staff, based in Fremontmarker, Californiamarker. 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 (discontinued and merged into Norton-brand line of software).

Altiris acquisition
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, Utahmarker, United States.

Vector Capital sellout
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.

MessageLabs acquisition
On October 9, 2008, Symantec announced its intent to acquire Gloucester based MessageLabs (a 2007 spin-off from parent company Star Internet) to boost its Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business. The acquisition closed on November 17, 2008.

See also


  1. Symantec Completes Sygate Acquisition
  2. Symantec to Sell Application Performance Management Business to Vector Capital

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