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Troubled Times at Gateway 152

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the dire-straits dept.
conq writes "BusinessWeek has a piece looking at the future of Gateway in the light of the recent announcement of the departure of their CEO. The article revolves around the question: 'Will the sudden departure of Wayne Inouye and a slumping stock price leave the computer maker open to a buyout or takeover?'"
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Troubled Times at Gateway

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  • Stupid Cow (Score:1, Interesting)

    by garrett714 (841216)
    Will the sudden departure of Wayne Inouye and a slumping stock price leave the computer maker open to a buyout or takeover?

    Probably not. Nobody really cares about Gateway anymore... They aren't doing anything innovative and the only thing they've ever had going for them was that stupid cow.
    • Re:Stupid Cow (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Saven Marek (739395)
      > Probably not. Nobody really cares about Gateway anymore... They aren't doing
      > anything innovative and the only thing they've ever had going for them was that stupid cow.

      There isn't a computer maker in the top ten that is really doing anything innovative anyway it's all copying or refining what has gone on before them before and marketing it as something people will want. If they get that right things fall into place.

      Nobody knows gateway exists any more so their marketing is has been.
      • Re:Stupid Cow (Score:4, Insightful)

        by WhiteWolf666 (145211) <sherwin@@@amiran...us> on Saturday February 11, 2006 @12:56PM (#14694718) Homepage Journal
        Question: Does Apple do anything innovative? Does OS X count as "innovative"?

        Apple is top ten; it's actually sixth in U.S. marketshare, IIRC.
        • Re:Stupid Cow (Score:4, Insightful)

          by hunterx11 (778171) <hunterx11@gmail. ... minus physicist> on Saturday February 11, 2006 @01:23PM (#14694865) Homepage Journal
          Apple doesn't innovate, but they bring innovations to consumers in a form they can actually use.
          • Re:Stupid Cow (Score:3, Insightful)

            by rhizome (115711)
            they bring innovations to consumers in a form they can actually use.

            Which is a form of innovation in itself.
          • If you changed the word "innovations" to "inventions" in the above comment, you'd be defining the word "innovate". You can't bring innovations to market in a form that customers can use, because if that were the case, they wouldn't already be innovations.
        • Re:Stupid Cow (Score:4, Insightful)

          by hattig (47930) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @01:40PM (#14694924) Journal
          Apple gets a reasonable amount of patents, so I suppose they are innovative, but it is hard to tell in a world of obvious patents.

          How many patents do Dell, HP, Gateway, etc, get?

          Apple tend to innovate more at the package level than the component level. They might make products that other people have done before, but they make the whole package palatable to the purchaser, and thus desirable. They make it look good, work simply and easily, and these are things that PC makers are going to have trouble with as they don't have their own software stack incorporating an OS up through high end applications.

          And they do these things with rapid speed. Another respondent says it is just a nicely packaged nano-ITX system. Problem is, nano-ITX is barely available a year after the Mini was released. I think he meant mini-ITX, although the mini's motherboard is smaller than that. Again, the mini is more integrated and more powerful (I guess a 1.5GHz G4 is twice as powerful as a 1.2GHz C3, and that's before SIMD).
          • And they do these things with rapid speed. Another respondent says it is just a nicely packaged nano-ITX system. Problem is, nano-ITX is barely available a year after the Mini was released. I think he meant mini-ITX, although the mini's motherboard is smaller than that.

            The mini-itx has been around for several years. I picked up a fan less one in 2002 for a MP3 player in my car. If you wanted a nano, you had to poke around a bit harder. They tend to sell to folks building 'larger' x86 based embedded devic
        • Parent said There isn't a computer maker in the top ten that is really doing anything innovative anyway it's all copying or refining what has gone on before them before and marketing it as something people will want. If they get that right things fall into place.

          Everything Apple is doing now has been done by somebody else years ago. Usually that somebody else was Apple, but the time or the technology wasn't right. Now the hardware's caught up - they finally have their video store to go with the VOD protot
    • Nobody really cares about Gateway anymore.

      And some of us still would never buy from them again. After having them mess up some memory and not step up to fix the problem, I wrote them off my vendor list. In this industry, there are always other players, so you have to keep your current customers happy or they'll go elsewhere for solutions.

      • I bought my first laptop from Gateway, but after awhile of dealing with Support and such, I have written them off as well. Unfortunately, my wife loves them. At the moment, my wife loves her Gateway laptop and her old Gateway desktop - never had a problem with them and will probably get another one from them.
    • Exactly how sudden was Wayne Inouye's departure? That is, did he have shares still to vest, and did he walk away from holy fsck amount of money .. assuming that the company was worth anything by the time they vested?
      • That's the sad thing, executives don't seem to be held accountable for the performance of the company, it is as if you have to guarantee them a certain amount of money, succeed or fail, before they will head up your company. I think shareholders are just being duped when the company offers their huge, practically guaranteed payouts, even if the individual does poorly.

        Carly Fiorina left HP a very hurting company and yet she walked out with a golden parachute when everyone else just had paper ones. It is so
        • Carly Fiorina left HP a very hurting company and yet she walked out...

          HP was in trouble when she came on board, and was in even more trouble when she left. They seem to be turning it around now that she's out of the way. It's really sad that CEOs can do nothing and get paid for it, but it's even worse when they can do real damage and still get a hefty paycheck.

        • Re:Fast Food (Score:3, Interesting)

          by TheRaven64 (641858)
          I've often wondered why CEOs aren't paid a modest salary and a heap of shares that they are not allowed to sell for 5-10 years. This would encourage them to ensure that the company is in a good shape until about 5-10 years after they leave (at which time their successor would be trying to make sure the share price was still high after he retired).
    • Re:Stupid Cow (Score:2, Interesting)

      I was always disappointed that the Cow boxes didn't have Cow-print computers inside as well. The trouble is going far enough that you've crossed the line from "tacky" to "camp". People would be trolling EBay for a genuine, 1996 P90 "Gurnsey" or "Hereford", instead of Mac Cubes.

      Obligatory Gateway Bashing Story: Back around 1993ish, my boss bought a Gateway 486 laptop. He added a PCMCIA modem which never worked right. After some back and forth with heavily accented (Dakotan) tech-support, he finally go
    • by Bin_jammin (684517) <Binjammin@gmail.com> on Saturday February 11, 2006 @02:29PM (#14695134)
      That's hardly true. Gateway's got the most innovative website I've ever seen. Rarely does navigating a site equate to taking a Mensa IQ test. Every other OEM has relatively easy support pages, but Gateway takes the high road, demanding that you improve yourself in order solve whatever problem you may have. Dell, Apple, etc... all represent a "dumbing down" user experience, while Gateway is helping us help ourselves. After all, the smarter we become using their site, the less we will have to use their site at all. This must be working, because after using the site to find drivers, I've given up and vow never to return.
      • Obviously you haven't visited Borland's site in the last decade. The worst navigation setup I've ever seen. Tiny tiny print. Inscrutable menus. Links that haven't gone where the claim, for the last 8 years or so. Patches in some bizarre format that requires some no-name unpacker. Patches arranged in no particular order, with no info about which patches are prerequistes for which others, or fix what. I finally gave up trying to patch their products.

        OMG! I just went there to refresh my memory and TH

    • the only thing they've ever had going for them was that stupid cow.

      Yeah but you know what they say...Moo' money, moo' problems.

      I'll get my coat.
  • Oh Boy, Oh Boy! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by zerocool^ (112121) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @12:47PM (#14694666) Homepage Journal

    We just bought a backup system from them. 2x 2U servers with 12x500GB drives each, plus an autoloader tape system with 75 LTO 800GB tapes. We got the extra warranty et. al. because we're expecting to put the hard drives through their paces... I hope we still get warranty service in 3 years...

    • Re:Oh Boy, Oh Boy! (Score:5, Informative)

      by lheal (86013) <lheal1999@@@yahoo...com> on Saturday February 11, 2006 @01:25PM (#14694873) Journal
      Over the past 15-20 years I've known many Gateway customers. Tech-savvy users, grandmas, University departments, small businesses, all have one thing in common: every single person or group I've ever known to have bought a Gateway PC has had to call their tech support line about something.

      How do I know this? After the first two or three, I started to ask: "How was their tech support?" They'd usually answer matter-of-factly, "Oh, they were great. There was this little problem, but they helped me fix it right away."

      Sometimes they'd say no, and I'd ask, "Really? You're the first." Then they'd respond with "Oh, well, now that you mention it, there was this problem with the [memory, hard disk, keyboard, missing item, whatever], but they helped me fix it right away."

      • It's true, they do tend to have problems, but their tech support is one of the best tech supports I've ever called anyway.
      • Customer expectations concerning the quality of computers has risen over the years. What customers considered good quality 15 years ago, is not acceptable in today's market. Apparantly Gateway's quality didn't rise as much as its customer's expectations. Today when one purchases a computer, It's quite reasonable to expect it to work correctly right out of the box. There's been ample time to engineer the problem areas out of the box.

        This is a lot like what happened in the automotive industry back in the 1

        • Interesting perspective. I just had a conversation about how computers made 10 years ago held up better than modern ones. I have a sun workstation from 1992 sitting on my desk. It still works great. Only thing thats been replaced that I'm aware of was the hard drive. Conversely, my wife's powermac had the logic board fail after 3 years of constant use. Its the only part that failed in her system though. However, during the last 3 years i've owned 6 cd burners. I burn about 100 disks a year. I have
      • I just goes to show people can have vastly different experiences with the same company. I left Gateway for Dell ~8 years ago. The tech support from Gatway had gotten worse and worse for me over a number of years. The same for everyone else I knew. Everyone I know has switched to Dell/HP/Sony/Apple, and away from Gateway. Bad service has been one of the primary reasons.
      • Odd... I worked at Gateway (or rather, the company they outsource their phone support to, something we were instructed to lie directly to customers about) and the support was terrible. Admittedly I was in customer service, but about 50% of the problems were caused by someone within the company screwing something up due to incompetence or disinterest. The tech support people were particularly poor with perhaps 10% of them being capable of doing their jobs.

        When the employees weren't themselves to blame the co
  • by Spiffness (941077) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @12:53PM (#14694697) Homepage
    But uh. Gateways have always sucked. So uh... suprise? Gateway has failed to do anything special for years, so simply being around in the 'make a crappy PC, set a low price, sell by the millions' game isnt enough. Remember Packard Bell?

    • But just think of the impact on the many computer techs whose livelihood depends on having a steady stream of Gateway computers entering their shops for repair! When Packard-Bell went under, Gateway was there to pick up the slack. Now, they'll just have to rely on HP Pavilions.

    • by AKAImBatman (238306) <akaimbatman @ g m a i l . c om> on Saturday February 11, 2006 @01:25PM (#14694872) Homepage Journal
      But uh. Gateways have always sucked.

      That's because you don't remember Gateway before they went mega-commerical. Many of us remember Gateway as being the mail-order company that always built PCs to the highest specifications of technology and quality. When everyone else was shipping 2x CDRom drives, Gateway was shipping 4x. When everyone was shipping 4 megs of RAM, Gateway was shipping 16. When everyone else had non-existant technical support, Gateway had excellent service that got your problem taken care of right away.

      THAT is the Gateway I remember. The Gateway of today is nothing more than some other megacorp abusing the namesake of a company who knew how to build computers.
      • The Gateway I remember in 1991: PCs with very crappy keyboards
        The Gateway I remember in 1999: PCs with very noisy fans

        My overall impression: shaving off every last penny for the bottom line by using the cheapest parts

        The Dell I remember in 1991: excellent keyboards
        The Dell I remember in 1999: quiet PCs, long before they became popularized
        (I might add, they remain quiet after years of use)

        My overall impression: cutting costs in mass production / efficient designs, use good quality for the parts that matter

        He
        • It's true -- I'm typing this message on a circa 2003 Gateway laptop, and people who hear the fan mistake it for an airplane taking off. Incredibly loud!
          • What model of Gateway do you have? I have a late-2002 vintage 600XL and I get the same "Is that a hair dryer?" response when the fan kicks on to cool off the 2.2GHz P4-M chip. My girlfriend has a mid-'03 400VTX with a 2.0 P4-M and it has the same fan noise. However, my brother's VAIO V505 had a 2.0 P4-M but made about no noise. I wonder if Gateway just got a lot of noisy (but relatively effective- my 600 runs at 60C and his Sony ran at 70C) fans?
      • Bullshit.

        I worked as a tech at CompUSA in high school, and we charged double the price per hour to fix Gateways because they were such pieces of shit. This was in the 486 days, right about the time you are talking about.

        And the 16 megs of ram bit is total BS too. Gateway, like everybody else, didn't ship machines with 16 megs of ram until Windows 95 came out.
      • I don't know when the Tech Support went to hell but the machines quality dropped off right around the time the Pentium 3 was launched. Gateway was effected by the Capacitor Curse and knew it (thanks Siebel!) but wouldn't do anything about it. If you had a FlexCase system with an MSI board you were screwed, they didn't even have enough for warranty service so they gave huge discounts to those customers.
    • Remember Packard Bell? You sir have ruined my evening. Packard Bell was the bastard child of the computer industry.
    • Back before the gateway store and when they were Gateway 2000 they were a great company.
      Purchased a few hundred computers from them for work and 4 for personnal and family use, and they were great.
      They use to have far better tech support, better prices and better technology used. Then they decided to grow huge in the consumer market and that did them in.
      The other thing they were really good for was when you were purchasing newer technology systems, all other places would place a premium price on them,
  • by bobdotorg (598873) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @12:55PM (#14694705)
    Michael Dell was asked what he would do if he were the CEO of Gateway:

    "I'd butcher the cow and have a barbecque for the shareholders."
    • Culled from this NYT article [nytimes.com]:

      SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 15, 2006 - It may not be the last laugh, but on Friday afternoon, after the close of the stock market, Steven P. Jobs, the chief executive of Apple Computer, shared an e-mail chuckle with his employees. The message was prompted by the 12 percent surge in Apple's stock price last week, which pushed the company's market capitalization to $72.13 billion, passing Dell's value of $71.97 billion.

      In 1997, shortly after Mr. Jobs returned to Apple, Dell's founder and

    • But the prion for Mad Cow disease isn't destroyed by cooking.
  • Buyout? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @12:58PM (#14694722) Homepage Journal
    They have to be worth something first.. I doubt they are worth the $ for somone to buy them at this point.
    • They have to be worth something first.

      Their customer list is worth something, as are their call center and distribution systems. The interesting thing about a customer list is how to value it. If it's a million happy customers then it's worth a lot. If it's a million unhappy customers then it ain't worth squat.

      • Can you think of even one at this point?

        Their 'service' is pretty dismal. I cant comment on distribution as we no longer include them in our approved vendor list.
    • There's a lot of value in a name. Gateway used to be a household name. If someone were to resurrect the company with fresh ideas the name alone could help carry it far. In corporate America a brand name is worth a lot of $.
  • by reporter (666905) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @12:59PM (#14694725) Homepage
    As the slowing sales of Dell computers indicate, the personal-computer market in the developed world (e.g. USA, Japan, and Europe) has reached saturation. Gateway represents surplus capacity. It always leads to only 1 conclusion: liquidation.

    One unrealistic possibility for Gateway is to focus on the developing countries like China, but companies like Lenovo have the home-court advantage. Lenovo has close relationships with Taiwanese computer-chip manufacturers (who also sell their wares to the Chinese military in Beijing [geocities.com]). Lenovo can also exploit ultra-low-cost labor in China.

    How can Gateway compete against Lenovo? Gateway cannot. IBM could not and sold its PC division to Lenovo.

    • How can Gateway compete against Lenovo? Gateway cannot. IBM could not and sold its PC division to Lenovo.

      They're a gonner ... though it would be interesting to see one of these failing legacy manufacturers attempt a line of high quality workstation & notebooks. Something along the lines of American Megatrends, which still survives due to the niche' high reliability market needed for things like motherboards for industrial equipment. Currently, I can't find any manufacturer to match the quality of my
  • Hmm... And I was just thinking their new Core Duo laptop looked like the perfect mobile linux solution.

    I wonder if this will make them cheaper or more expensive in the near future....
  • by neonprimetime (528653) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @01:07PM (#14694781)
    Can Wayne Inouye Save Gateway? [slashdot.org] ... Apparently not.
  • Gateway's sales have been declining for a number of years now. Actually, before HP bought Compaq, I thought that Gateway would have been a good acquisition for HP. If I'd been on Gateway's board then, I sure would have looked into the possibility.
  • by Jerry (6400) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @01:11PM (#14694803)
    Gateway's profit after deducting Microsoft's payoff was only $9M.

    They paid the CEO $19 and bonuses for one year's work before he bails.

    But, probably the real reason why he couldn't make a go of it at Gateway was inteference from Snyder and the rest of the board.

  • About time! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Channard (693317) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @01:22PM (#14694860) Journal
    Maybe now no more cows will have to die to provide the material for their PC boxes. Vegetable rights and peace!
  • If they convince the media to call them the "beleagured Gateway Corp." perhaps, just perhaps they can turn it around.
  • They're done.....
  • by Proudrooster (580120) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @01:28PM (#14694878) Homepage
    Gateway has been dead for awhile now as evidenced by the $2/share stock price. Remember the local Gateway store where you could go to the factory showroom and order a custom computer? The main problem that Gateway had was inferior parts and poor after-the-sale customer service, which resulted in customers not returning again and again for upgrades and second time PC purchases.

    An ancedotal story. My mother-in-law wanted a new computer and I offered to build her one. She insisted that she wanted a large company like Gateway standing behind her in case of a problem. I groaned and let her buy from Gateway. The PC had problems out of the box, most noticably skipping when playing audio CD's. Grinning, I told my mother-in-law just to call gateway and they would take care of it. She called and they ran her through the reboot your computer, click this irrelevant non-related thing, then that irrelevant thing. To make a long story short, the CD-ROM drive was defective and Gateway refused to replace it, but gave her a code and 1-800 number to call periodically for more information regarding a fix.

    I just laughed, and laughed and laughed. Yep, the big company was standing behind (sic) it's brand new defective product. Soon after than the video card died, but Gateway did replace that after 2 agonizing calls, and then close to the end of the warranty period the monitor died, which was also replaced.

    So when it came time to upgrade to a better PC? Did my mother-in-law go back to Gateway? Nope, she called me to come and take care of it.

    Gateway had a strong lead and should have spun itself off into a world-class service and support organization. They could have been the first "Geek Squad", but they chose substandard customer service coupled with the cheapest parts available to make margins. Shipping defective monitors around has got to cut into profit margins.

    Because of this, everyone has already bought a Gateway and isn't going back for another. I wonder if I could sell a T-Shirt, which read: "Been there, bought that, Got the Cow-Box." :)
    • Yep! I'll throw in my own anecdote.

      I was working in I.T. for a mid-sized company that was using exclusively Dell, but got irritated at the long hold times just to get parts replaced under warranty, and some billing mistakes they made. So they asked me to consider alternatives. We opted for Toshiba for some of our laptop purchases, and as an experiment, tried Gateway. They had a number of new slim-line desktop PCs out that they were selling through their "business division", pre-loaded with Windows NT 4.
    • And wait til grandma's machine breaks....you'll be singing a different tune then. Who's going o take back your video card? Sometimes I have had difficulty calling the manufacturer to get components fixed. Gateway was excellent when we bought our current workhorse desktop my wife currently uses. One reason I bought it off of them at the time was that they had a store I could take it back to if it broke. Well we had a power suply go out in it and I took it in it took 4 days to get the damn Power Supply
  • Gateway reported that their retail sales (though Best Buy, etc) rocketed and their direct sales (via gateway.com) plummeted last quarter.

    Retail sales are mostly AMD-based. They have some very neat looking Athlon 64 X2 desktops these days. (For people who don't custom-build their desktop PCs. Not that there's anything wrong with that...)

    Direct sales are 100% Intel. Let's face it, Dell pretty much owns that market.

    I had hoped that their CEO could straighten out Gateway like he did eMachines, but now... ug
  • Of my friends who did not first consult me and bought a computer from Gateway, they all had problems with the machine once it arrived... Motherboard smoked during the first bootup, one had a defective CD drive, etc. Friends don't let friends purchase Gateway computers. I'd be interested in seeing a pro list for reasons to purchase Gateway. I am imagining it is quite short.
    • Well, seriously, I have **never** had problems with Gateway for computers. I bought my first computer from them back when I was 12. As a child with non-technical parents, any "problem" we had was software-related (read Windows) and they were more than helpful in fixing that too. Recently, my hard-drive from a 4-year old computer died and they sent a new one after one call.

      Last year, I bought a laptop from them. ALL their hardware is 100% non-proprietary (i.e. not their own; Pentium M, IPW2200 Wireless, etc)
  • Sun should acquire Gateway and get into the PC market. This would let Sun increase its enterprise reach -- not sure that Sun wants to get in touch with Consumers, though.

    BR,
    ~A
    • Sun has no interest in the common PC market. They're much more interested in specialized home computers like thin clients. Also, if they did want to sell a PC they easily have the capacity to build it themselves. They hardly need Gateway for that.
  • Google should buy Gateway... it'd be a good move for them... :)
  • Just the beginning (Score:3, Insightful)

    by argoff (142580) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @01:44PM (#14694948)
    Has anyone else noticed how all these companies are starting to have troubble. Gateway, SGI, even GM and Ford.

    IMHO, the problem is that the US economy has more debt than it can pay off at face value so this is just the beginning. What will most likely happen is that the fed will monitize some debts in order to prevent massive bankruptcies. But it will make the problem worse, because watering down the value of the money will drive up commodity prices like gas and food, but it likely won't drive up pay. So people will have the same debts, but costs that are several times higher. This will cause more bankruptcies, which will lead to more monitization, which will lead to more bankruptcies and so on in a vicious cycle.

    It seems to me that these next few years will be hell. Also, I think the dollar is doomed as a global reserve currency, and I wouldn't be suprised if the dollar ceased to be a currency at all. Put extra money into precious metals.
    • IMHO, the problem is that the US economy has more debt than it can pay off at face value so this is just the beginning.

      That is clearly part of the problem, but the way bigger problem is that the US mentality is based around "cheap". Meaning cheaper products at a faster and faster pace.

      Two things happen then:

      1. The Quality goes down the drain.
      2. Someone else will come along sooner or later and make it even cheaper (see China).

      What will most likely happen is that the fed will monitize some debts in order to p

      • (obviously you cannot buy your own debt with the money you print)

        Sure you can. After all, the bonds are promises to pay in dollars and not gold. Of course don't be suprised if it causes instant inflation and instant dollar dumping. In fact, some have argued that it is already happening. Just as China stopped buying more bonds at auction causing markets to get really nervous, some mysterious account in the Cyamans started buying billions and billions worth of US treasuries at auction.

        • Sure you can. After all, the bonds are promises to pay in dollars and not gold. Of course don't be suprised if it causes instant inflation and instant dollar dumping. In fact, some have argued that it is already happening. Just as China stopped buying more bonds at auction causing markets to get really nervous, some mysterious account in the Cyamans started buying billions and billions worth of US treasuries at auction.

          Okay, good point, but who do you think is buying all the bonds? The US Government?

    • Put extra money into precious metals.

      Its fairly obvious you dont read "fat freddies's cat and the furry freak brothers" comics

      Dope gets you through times of no money better than money gets you through times of no dope. All good hippies know what.

    • I had a long talk with a finance manager and long time employee of GM the other day..Basically he explained that while other companies have already made the move to build plants in China, Mexico, and other places where cars can be built cheaper GM is just now being forced to make that move. They waited as long as possible to do it, and maintained American jobs for several years longer than they had to. GM sold 9 million cars last year, of which, only 4 million were sold in the United States.. That means o
    • Instead, the reason why U.S. manufacturing companies are moving elsewhere (both big and small) is due to a deliberate policy on the part of the U.S. Government to kill manufacturing in the USA. At least if it was policy I don't see how it would be any different.

      Besides H.R. bulls*** rules and a corporate tax system from h*** that strongly discourages innovation with a strong emphasis on short term earnings, it is no wonder that companies are leaving the USA for elsewhere.

      Where I live, the local government
  • One of the big box vendors will eventually do it, ship linux on the desktop as the default OS installation. It would give the industry a nice kick in the pants. A partnership with any of the major refined distros would do it, that and work with the peripheral vendors to offer devices that would work on plug-in without alot of hassle. It's been "there" potentially for a couple years now. There are many smaller vendors doing it, just none of the larger ones.
    • That was the first thought that leaped to my mind, but I didn't say anything thinking it'd be flamed before it hit the floor (weekend and all, y'know). But in fact, that seems to be the last resort of tech companies which find themselves floundering. Check out Solaris - without Belenix and Nexenta, stunted beginning efforts though they are, how many home PC users would have ever seen a Solaris system on their desktops? Gateway could ship with a solid Linux distro which would love their cheap hardware, cut
    • One of the big box vendors will eventually do it, ship linux on the desktop as the default OS installation.

      Linux at Walmart.com has slipped to four systems with specs so mediocre it scarcely seems worth the trouble to keep them in stock.

      The future mass-market PC at retail will be the media oriented Vista or the Mac.

  • GW service sucks (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Nimey (114278) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @01:49PM (#14694969) Homepage Journal
    I'm a university IT tech. Last month I had a fairly GW desktop PC's hard drive die. The drive was an IDE model. GW tech support not once but twice sent me a Serial ATA unit instead. That would be fine because the computer supports SATA as well, but they didn't send me a cable. After the first SATA drive was sent, I told the tech that I wanted either a cable or the correct drive. He refused me a cable.

    Complaining to customer support got me a cable. Turns out the techs ordered the correct drive both times, but the warehouse was out of IDE hard drives so it failed silently and sent a SATA drive instead.

    That said, the techs I chatted with (using their Java client) were professional (a bit too professional, if you know what I mean) and knew their jobs.

    I'm not recommending my clients order GW machines for the time being. Our other major vendor for desktop PCs is Dell, and while their techs make me jump through the same hoops to get replacement parts, at least I get the right gorram parts sent to me.
    • a bit too professional, if you know what I mean

      Fraknly, I don't have the slightest clue what you're talking about.
      • As in the second one was trying to "handle" me (I was irked about the drive) and stick to the script instead of just getting the problem fixed. Frankly, I don't think he believed me.
        • As in the second one was trying to "handle" me (I was irked about the drive) and stick to the script instead of just getting the problem fixed.

          Do you mean, "professional" and "handle" in the sexual prostitution sense? Because otherwise, I honestly have no idea what you're talking about.
  • I worked for Gateway when they had all the retail stores. The only thing that helped us sell the pc's were the promise of US based tech support when the rest of the PC world sent it to India. That and the random Profile and Tablet computer sale helped. Honestly before they bought EMachines, Gateway was doing ok with the consumer electronics dept. as well. We sold TONS of their cheap plasmas before the rest of the market came down to their prices. Their number one source for cash flow was those stores. Not
  • by Ralph Spoilsport (673134) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @02:46PM (#14695210) Journal
    And then HP will become the BIGGEST COMPUTER MAKER in the entire WORLD!

    HP will INNOVATE and INVENT the computer of the future! While other clone makers like Dell and IBM have their computers built by third party sweatshops in China, HP will BUY Gateway, and LEAD the world into a technical future of INNOVATION and EXCELLENCE.

    RS

    ps: if HP *does* buy the rotting carcass of Gateway, I'll laugh so hard...

    • And then HP will become the BIGGEST COMPUTER MAKER in the entire WORLD!
      HP will INNOVATE and INVENT the computer of the future! While other clone makers like Dell and IBM have their computers built by third party sweatshops in China, HP will BUY Gateway, and LEAD the world into a technical future of INNOVATION and EXCELLENCE.


      I don't know if you know this, but after the Compaq merger, HP was the largest computer maker in the world, on and off for a few quarters.

      If you ever go look at one of their workstations
      • If you ever go look at one of their workstations, like the XW9300, you'll notice that there's a lot more "innovation" there than at Dell or most other manufacturers.

        So who the fuck are you? Carly's boy toy? (badoom-tish!)
        Seriously, though - you are correct in that *LIMITED* sense re: a few of HP's offerings are worthwhile. HOWEVER: most of their crap IS made by 3rd party crap houses in China. And all the testing you talk about is of ZERO consequence when you're talking about their bread and butter produc

  • by sootman (158191)
    At least we can thank them for introducing a 42" Plasma for $3000 when they were $6-7000 everywhere else. Brought the price of all plasmas down almost overnight. Yes, they were only EDTV, and might not have been good at all, but all that mattered was the fact that consumers could say "Why should I buy your 42" for that much when they have one over here for 3 grand?" and everyone else had no choice but to follow suit.
  • Does that mean they'll finally get a quality control department?
  • At one point in time, Gateway bought the rights to the Amiga from Escom. Gateway is one of the few companies that hasn't gone bankrupt after buying the rights to Amiga.

    I guess the universe will eventually right itself, after all.

  • by melted (227442) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @04:44PM (#14695777) Homepage
    Take a look at this thread:

    http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/08/03/231 8204 [slashdot.org]

    I've particularly liked the following post:

    >> Can Wayne Inouye Save Gateway? No!

    >> Like any desk jockey executive, he will kick back, collecting a
    >> multi-million dollar salary plus bonuses that will bankrupt the company,
    >> and laugh all the way to the bank. Gateway will be kaput by 2006, and that
    >> is a generous estimate.
  • Bangalore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Toronto, Aukland are places you start businesses. Ohio is in the middle of a united poverty disaster. Gateway was another rediculous 90's contraption to let people work wherever they wanted for no reason.
    • Except that Gateway 2000 started in Sioux City, IA, my hometown. They, very wisely, relocated to North Sioux City, just across the river in South Dakota, where the tax laws are much more favorably than they are in Iowa. As a matter of fact, when my parents lived in Sioux City, my dad used to run the cookie plant right across the street from Gateway's campus. Gateway was really quite the place, with giant cow-spotted buildings. They actually paid employees to come in on the weekends one summer and help t

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