Before It Was a Giant: The Early History of Symantec, 1982-1999

William Aspray, James W. Cortada

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Before Symantec became a major supplier of security software, it offered a variety of natural language microcomputer software products. Its growth into a security firm was the result of acquisitions of software enterprises and expanding market conditions in the 1980s and 1990s. This story tells not only about nimbleness in the early software industry, but also about the importance of venture capitalists in the success and failure of early software firms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7436658
Pages (from-to)26-41
Number of pages16
JournalIEEE Annals of the History of Computing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • C&E Software
  • Peter Norton Computing
  • Symantec
  • antivirus software
  • history of computing
  • natural-language query
  • software security
  • system utility software

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