Central Point Software

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Central Point Software, Inc. (CP, CPS, Central Point) was a leading software utilities maker for the PC market, supplying utilities software for the DOS and Microsoft Windows markets. It also made Apple II copy programs. Through a series of mergers, the company was ultimately acquired by Symantec in 1994.


CPS was founded by Michael Burmeister-Brown (Mike Brown)[1] in 1980 in Central Point, Oregon, for which the company was named. Building on the success of its Copy II PC backup utility, it moved to Beaverton, Oregon. In 1993 CPS acquired the XTree Company.[2] It was itself acquired by Symantec in 1994, for around $60 million.[3]


The company's most important early product was a series of utilities which allowed exact duplicates to be made of copy-protected diskettes. The first version, Copy II Plus v1.0 (for the Apple II), was released in June 1981.[4] With the success of the IBM PC and compatibles, a version for that platform - Copy II PC (copy2pc) - was released in 1983.[5]

CPS also offered a hardware add-in expansion card, the Copy II PC Deluxe Board, which was bundled with its own software. The Copy II PC Deluxe Board was able to read, write and copy disks from Apple II and Macintosh computer systems as well. COPY II PC's main competitor was Quaid Software's CopyWrite, which did not have a hardware component.

CPS also released Option Board hardware with TransCopy software for duplicating copy-protected floppy diskettes.[6]

In 1985 CPS released PC Tools, an integrated graphical DOS shell and utilities package. PC Tools was an instant success and became Central Point's flagship product, and positioned the company as the major competitor to Peter Norton Computing and its Norton Utilities and Norton Commander. CPS later manufactured a Macintosh version called Mac Tools. CPS licensed the Mirror, Undelete, and Unformat components of PC Tools to Microsoft for inclusion in MS-DOS versions 5.x and 6.x as external DOS utilities. CPS File Manager was ahead of its time, with features such as view ZIP archives as directories and a file/picture viewer.

CPS's other major product was Central Point Anti-Virus (CPAV), whose main competitor was Norton Antivirus. CPAV was a licensed version of Carmel Software's Turbo Anti-Virus; CPS, in turn, licensed CPAV to Microsoft to create Microsoft Antivirus for DOS (MSAV) and Windows (MWAV).

Central Point also sold the Apple II clone Laser 128 by mail.[7]

List of CPS products[edit]

  • PC Tools
  • PC Tools for Windows
  • Central Point Anti-Virus
  • Central Point Anti-Virus for NetWare
  • Central Point Backup
  • Central Point Desktop
  • Central Point Commute
  • Copy II+
  • Copy II PC
  • Copy II Mac
  • Copy II ST (for Atari ST/TT series computers)
  • Mac Tools (Central Point Software)
  • More PC Tools
  • LANlord
  • Deluxe Option Board

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Anatomy of a Price Increase". Soft-Letter. August 20, 1990. Archived from the original on May 24, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Pipeline: Acquisitions- Central Point finishes merger with XTree", InfoWorld, p. 19, November 15, 1993 
  3. ^ "Symantec to Buy Central Point Software in Stock Deal". New York Times. April 5, 1994. 
  4. ^ "The Freeman PC Museum: PC Timeline". 
  5. ^ "The Central Point Option Board". 
  6. ^ Option Board archive questions and answers.
  7. ^ Field, Cynthia E. (1986-05-05). "Laser 128 Adds Bonuses to IIc". InfoWorld. p. 51. Retrieved 1 November 2013.