Quarterdeck Office Systems

Quarterdeck Office Systems, later Quarterdeck Corporation (NASDAQ: QDEK), was an American computer software company. It was founded by Therese Myers[1][2] and Gary Pope in 1981[3] and incorporated in 1982. Their offices were initially located at 150 Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica, California and later at 13160 Mindanao Way in Marina del Rey, California, as well as a sales and technical support unit located in Clearwater, Florida. In the 1990s, they had a European office in Dublin, Ireland. Their most famous products were the Quarterdeck Expanded Memory Manager, DESQview, CleanSweep, DESQview/X, Quarterdeck Mosaic, Manifest and Partition-It.[4]

Quarterdeck Office Systems
FateAcquired by Symantec
Founded1981 (1981)
FounderTherese Myers, Gary Pope
HeadquartersMarina del Rey, California,
United States
ProductsQuarterdeck Expanded Memory Manager, DESQview, DESQview/X

On April 18, 1989, Quarterdeck was awarded a US software patent that allowed multiple windowed PC applications under MS-DOS.[5]

After sales and its stock plummeted in 1995, interim CEO King R. Lee hired Gaston Bastiaens as CEO. In order to diversify the company's product offerings, Bastiaens began an ultimately unsuccessful acquisition spree.[6][7][8]

In 1995, the company acquired Landmark Research International Corp. for 3.5 million shares of Quarterdeck (acquiring MagnaRAM and WinProbe)[9] and then Inset Systems, Inc. of Brookfield, Connecticut in September of that year for 933,000 shares of Quarterdeck (acquiring HiJaak graphics software in the deal).[10]

In March 1996, Quarterdeck acquired Datastorm Technologies, Inc., publishers of PROCOMM and PROCOMM PLUS, and relocated its technical support and development operations from California and Florida, to Datastorm's Columbia, Missouri headquarters.[11]

In July 1996, Quarterdeck acquired Vertisoft Systems, publishers of the DoubleDisk and Fix-It utilities, also for 3.5 million shares of Quarterdeck.[12] Both Landmark and Vertisoft had extensive revenues from direct-marketing of third party products through telemarketing and direct mail.[13]

Bastiaens resigned in August 1996, and Quarterdeck continued under acting Co-CEOs King R. Lee, and Anatoly Tikhman, the former CEO of Vertisoft.[7] The company announced a restructuring and a loss, and in January 1997, Quarterdeck hired Curtis Hessler to run the company.[11][14]

In 1998, with its DOS utilities market all but collapsed, Quarterdeck was acquired for $0.52 per share by Symantec (the Norton Utilities company), which discontinued support of some Quarterdeck products, e.g., Mosaic, and integrated others into larger offerings, e.g., CleanSweep, which became part of Norton SystemWorks.[15]

List of software products


  1. "Board Of Trustees Elects New Members". Bc.edu. Retrieved 2016-06-25.
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 28, 2010. Retrieved February 23, 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. Larson, Jennifer (1993). "Quarterdeck Is Changing The Office Environment". General Computing. 4 (8).
  4. PC Mag. Books.google.de. p. 66. Retrieved 2016-06-25.
  5. Special to the New York Times (1989-04-19). "Patent Is Won By Quarterdeck". NYTimes.com. Retrieved 2016-06-25.
  6. PETRUNO, TOM (15 September 1995). "Internet Hype Gives New Life to Quarterdeck Stock". Retrieved 25 June 2016 via LA Times.
  7. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 22, 2016. Retrieved August 21, 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. Reporter, A. Wall Street Journal Staff (8 October 1996). "Quarterdeck Expects Charge For Quarter, Loss for Year". Retrieved 25 June 2016 via Wall Street Journal.
  9. PR Newswire, June 30, 1995. "Quarterdeck Acquires Landmark Research International"
  10. PR Newswire, September 06, 1995. "Quarterdeck Signs Agreement to Acquire Inset Systems, Inc.; Inset Shipped This Week a Complete Graphic Utilities Solution for Windows 95".
  11. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-07-06. Retrieved 2017-09-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. "EDGAR Filing Documents for 0000950150-96-000748". sec.gov. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  13. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-07-01. Retrieved 2017-09-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 22, 2016. Retrieved August 21, 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. "Newsroom - Symantec". symantec.com. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  16. "Quaterdesk's Mosaic Screen Image". Netline.be. Retrieved 2016-06-24.
  17. "Review: Quarterdeck Web Author". Alamopc.org. Retrieved 2016-06-25.
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