Peter Norton Computing

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Peter Norton Computing
IndustrySoftware Engineering
Founded1982; 40 years ago (1982)
FounderPeter Norton
Fatemerged into Symantec (in 1990)
SuccessorNorton LifeLock

Peter Norton Computing, Inc., was a software company founded by Peter Norton. The first and best known software package it produced was Norton Utilities. Another successful software package was Norton Commander, especially the DOS version. In 1990, the company was acquired by Symantec.[1] The acquired company became a division of Symantec and was renamed Peter Norton Computing Group. Most of Norton Computing's 115 employees were retained.

The Symantec merger helped Norton Computing regain the market share it was losing to competitors, especially Central Point Software. Norton Computing's revenues tripled between June 1990 and September 1991, and by November it appeared to have regained the market lead over Central Point.


Peter Norton founded the company in 1982 with $30,000 and an IBM computer.[2] The company was a pioneer in DOS-based utilities software. Its 1982 introduction of the Norton Utilities included Norton's UNERASE tool to retrieve erased data from DOS disks.

In 1984, Norton Computing reached $1 million in revenue, and version 3.0 of the Norton Utilities was released. Norton had three clerical people working for him. He was doing all of the software development, all of the book writing, all of the manual writing and running the business. The only thing he wasn't doing was stuffing the packages. He hired his fourth employee and first programmer, Brad Kingsbury, in July 1985. John Socha, the author of Norton Commander until 1989, was hired shortly after. From November 1985 until April 1986 Warren Woodford worked at Norton Computing and created Norton Guides.[3][user-generated source?] In late 1985, Norton hired a business manager to take care of the day-to-day operations.[4]

In 1985, Norton Computing produced the Norton Editor, a programmer's text editor created by Stanley Reifel, and Norton Guides, a TSR program which showed reference information for assembly language and other IBM PC internals, but could also display other reference information compiled into the appropriate file format. Norton Commander, a file managing tool for DOS, was introduced in 1986. In this year PNCI reached $5 million in revenues with Norton Utilities still bringing the largest parts.

PNC software launched prior to Symantec acquisition[edit]

✓ denotes software that continues to be published after the acquisition by Symantec. (Check listed for standalone and integrated components within packages)

PNC software launched after Symantec acquisition[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "COMPANY NEWS; Symantec to Acquire Peter Norton". Lawrence M. Fisher. The New York Times Company. May 15, 1990. Retrieved 2011-05-01.
  2. ^ "Software pioneer's fortune at stake in divorce litigation". Los Angeles Business Journal. May 19, 2003.
  3. ^ "Warren Woodford".
  4. ^ Investigating The Lost Files Of Peter Norton, PC Pioneer, Computers & Electronics, May 1992