At one time Gateway was huge. It was big enough to compete with the likes of Dell, HP and Compaq. Yesterday, Acer bought Gateway, for the bargain basement price of $710 million. While $710 million is nothing to sneeze at, compare it to the $7 billion (with a B) that Gateway was once offered to become part of Compaq. What went wrong?
A string of bad quarters, a revolving door into the chief executive's office and a schizophrenic business strategy have all led to Gateway's end as an independent company after 22 years in business. The economic downturn that began in 2000 hit Gateway particularly hard, and it never quite recovered. Its identity as a company was constantly in flux after that, expanding through retail stores, delving in the world of consumer electronics, and acquiring low-end PC maker eMachines. But none of the new strategies quite worked.
Interesting article. There was a time when, for us, Gateway and Dell were the makers we thought of when trying to buy a custom-made PC or laptop, rather than stepping into a showroom. Since then of course, a lot of boutique custom vendors have appeared, such as Voodoo PC, Alienware (now part of Dell), FalconNW, and more. It's been a long time since Gateway has even been a blip on our radar when thinking of a new PC.