Symantec buys Ghost disk-cloning software

Symantec buys Ghost disk-cloning software

Symantec has acquired Ghost, the industry's most widely used disk cloning product, for $US27.5 million.

Ghost is used to duplicate the content, or "image", in multiple PC hard drives without having to make the changes to each system individually. For example, computer labs in universities use Ghost to "reset" many PCs to a known configuration at the end of each day.

Symantec acquired the product through its purchase of all the assets of Binary Research, Auckland and Australia, the company that developed Ghost. Between $US12 million and $US14 million of the purchase price will be expensed as in process research and development, Symantec said.

Symantec plans to release a Norton-branded version of Ghost - under the same name - in the September quarter. The company will offer localised European versions of the product in September, and plans to release Japanese, and both complex and simplified Chinese language versions in December, said Enrique Salem, vice president of the security and assistance business unit at Symantec.

Binary Research's facility in Auckland will remain open as a development site, Symantec said.

The acquisition, which is non-dilutive, is part of an ongoing growth strategy Symantec is pursuing. The company last month said it would license antivirus technology from IBM and combine it with its own products under the Norton AntiVirus brand name.

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