Symantec Corporation NASDAQ: SYMC, founded in 1982, is an international corporation which sells computer software, particularly in the realms of security and information management. Head quartered 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.
Gary Hendrix founded the company in 1982 with the help of a National Science Foundation grant. Symantec was originally focused on artificial intelligence-related projects, and Hendrix hired several Stanford University natural language processing researchers as the company's first employees. Symantec released its first product, Q&A, in 1985. 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.