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Acer to Acquire Gateway for $710 million

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the bargain-shopping dept.

Businesses 222

downix writes "On the way into work today, I heard about Acer buying Gateway. A bold move strategically, I wonder what consequences this will have for Gateway's employees and customers. As the purchase price was at $1.90 per share, those of us that purchased Gateway shares a few years ago are reminded just how far it has fallen."

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That's one for the books (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20372259)

Flappin' them jack, eh?

Customers? (5, Funny)

ThePolkapunk (826529) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372263)

"I wonder what consequences this will have for Gateway's employees and customers."

Gateway has customers?!

Re:Customers? (1)

jt2377 (933506) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372299)

excatly. why is Gateway still alive? Why do Acer need Gateway?

Re:Customers? (1)

shawnce (146129) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372547)

Likely only for their established sale channels with partners.

Re:Customers? (1)

BosstonesOwn (794949) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372633)

That and for the names. Acer needs a place to dump those cheap flat panels and parts , emchines and gateway brand is the exact place to do this , especially the emachines division. Acer is not bad parts so to say but they always seem to break early on the systems I have repaired. Guess this may make systems even cheaper down the line.

Re:Customers? (5, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372333)

It's even funnier than that. According to the article, Acer only bought Gateway because Lenovo beat them to their first buyout target: Packard Bell!

So apparently their goal was to buy the shittiest computer company in existence, but they were stymied in that goal so they bought the second shittiest. Personally, I was surprised to see that both Packard Bell and Gateway still existed, but I guess when the CEO of Acer finds extra change in his couch cushions, he has to spend it on something.

Re:Customers? (2, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372573)

Personally, I was surprised to see that both Packard Bell and Gateway still existed,
Packard Bell just doesn't sell in the United States anymore. They have some notebooks and some GPS devices and some USB-pen-drive-sized USB player. They got the reputation has being the crappiest computer company EVAR and were never able to quite live that down in the U.S. market.

Re:Customers? (2, Informative)

o'reor (581921) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372767)

Despite the reputation, I bought a Packard-Bell notebook in January, and I've been quite happy with it so far. But then again, it's a notebook. No try to change various parts and therefore I did not hit compatibility problems with those parts. Linux (Mepis 6.0, Mandriva 2007, Fedora Core 6) installed flawlessly on that machine too.

So maybe they've gotten better after all... just my 2c anyway.

Re:Customers? (5, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372605)

Remove the cheapest competitors from the market and the average profit per unit increases.

 

Acer is Now Doomed (3, Interesting)

dammy (131759) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373229)

Let us not forget that Acer's purchase of Gateway will more then likely include Amiga Developement LLC which is the fileholder for Amiga patents. So Acer will now hold all licensing of those patents to Amiga Inc which is in a death match against Hyperion who was doing OS4. Yes, I know, Amiga Inc bought the code, the trademarks, existing hardware but not the patents. Gateway only licensed that to Amiga Inc.

So the Amiga curse is in full speed and Acer is now doomed.

dammy
http://www.aros.org/ [aros.org]
http://dockets.justia.com/docket/court-wawdce/case _no-2:2007cv00631/case_id-143245/ [justia.com]

Packard Bell (1)

Crazy Taco (1083423) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373407)

I must be one of the only customers who never had a problem with Packard Bell. Are they really as bad as people claim they were? Our family bought several Packard Bell computers, and none of them ever had a problem. We eventually got rid of some of them as we upgraded, but we still have a 150 Mhz box that still runs to this day on 100% original hardware. Not one thing has ever failed, and I can't say that about any of the HP, Toshiba or Dell computers I have bought. For that matter, I don't even think I can say that about the computers I've built. At some point in their history Packard Bell must have been doing some things right.

Re:Customers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20372337)

For the first time since college (which was years ago, about the era of Windows ME), I saw a Gateway in a store the other day. It was in a Wal-Mart, of all places.

Honestly, this is probably a good move. (La Fontaine voice) In a world where Dell reigns supreme, there's no room for fifty billion PC manufacturers any more.

Really can't speak for Gateway's quality any, since I've never had one, and the one person I know who actually had one was using Windows ME. You really can't tell if you have a crappy computer or a truly kick ass piece of hardware if yer running ME. :P Acer, though.. Recently picked up a very nice widescreen LCD monitor. Been nothing but impressed with it. So I dare say Gateway at least isn't at risk of becoming complete crap or anything.

Re:Customers? (1)

doombringerltx (1109389) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372423)

They sell a fair amount of bargain PCs under the emachines brand. Thats the only time I ever see new gateway products.

Re:Customers? (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372611)

Gateway has customers?!

They did. And most people liked their moo-cow store decor. IIRC, things went into the toilet around the time they started selling systems with Windows ME installed.

Coincidence, bad karma or unfortunate timing?

Re:Customers? (4, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372693)

Their stores were what killed them. They spent a pile of money and put stores up everywhere, with little to no thought about whether any given location made sense or not. Apple's retail operation is a textbook case on how to do it right. Gateway's is a textbook case on how to botch it.

-jcr
 

Re:Customers? (2, Insightful)

Herkum01 (592704) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373005)

What killed them was when the owner/founder of the company handing the reins over to a IBM manager/friend. This friend convinced him that he knew exactly how to run a large business and ended turning it into a large corporate bureaucracy. At that point it became a company of bean counters( customer service agents who would hang up on the customer after 12 minutes), management cronies and corporate meetings to play the blame game.

Re:Customers? (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373053)

My statement and yours do not conflict.

-jcr

Re:Customers? (4, Interesting)

demonbug (309515) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373147)

I had (and still have, though it is my "backup" - it works, but the battery lasts about 30 seconds at this point) a Gateway laptop. I was very happy with it. While traveling, I ran into the need for a car adapter. No Problem, I thought, I can just head over to one of those new Gateway stores they're putting up everywhere and pick one up!

Nope. I find a store, ask if I can get a car adapter for my notebook, only to find out that Gateway stores don't actually carry anything, you can only order items from them. Not just power adapters (which I suppose aren't needed terribly often) - they don't stock anything. It was then that I realized Gateway was going to die - they spend all this money building stores all over the place, and then they don't even bother to stock them with a few useful items that their customers are likely to need. They basically just massively increased their costs without really offering any new or useful services. Brainy move!

I do still like that laptop, though.

Re:Customers? (4, Insightful)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373553)

not having any ACTUAL COMPUTERS at the stores was the downfall I think. They had a lot of things like the Apple store, classes, training, but no repair, upgrade or hardware sales! It would seem to defeat the purpose of putting all the cool computers out there only to tell you to order it and wait 2 weeks for shipping. I also find my local "screwdriver" shop does this to. The point of being a computer store it to walk in and buy stuff!!! If you can't do that one simple thing, then I might as well go to BigBox where I can take home a crappy computer and take home the parts to upgrade it myself!!!

Re:Customers? (2, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373209)

Their stores were what killed them. They spent a pile of money and put stores up everywhere, with little to no thought about whether any given location made sense or not.

It had to do with the fact that suddenly they had retail stores that still required you to do mail order to get the stuff *and* you now had to pay sales-tax!

How that made any sense I'll never know. Back then, the reason for going to the mail order places was to avoid sales tax. Yeah, you took a hit on shipping but you got a near custom built machine (if you so desired) for less or the same price as an in-store brand before sales tax.

Once they had you paying both shipping and sales tax for a third rate computer dumbed down to below consumer level, it wasn't worth it anymore.

Re:Customers? (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372719)

I though they had consumers

say it with me kids, consumers

Re:Customers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20372763)

More like poetic justice.

Re:Customers? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20372849)

I work in the computer repair portion of an IT department for a while, we had Gateway, HP, Compaq and Dell there (this was before the HP/Cpaq buyout).

Gateways hardware quality went south *LONG* before ME. I don't remember seeing a good quality piece of equipment in a Gateway, Win 95 to Win 2000. By the time XP came out we had switched from Gateway to Dell, although a few people chose other manufacturers for their comps occasionally.

Gateway had always been popular due to suppor I thought - though even that trailed off some time after the turn of the century.

Re:Customers? (1)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372683)

I used to be a Gateway customer - when they were good...

But then again I got a PDA in 2004 that was faster than my last Gateway computer. Guess they haven't been good for a while.

Re:Customers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20372697)

Acer has customers?!

Now I haven't tried an Acer in the last few years but in the past the Acer products I used were pretty poor quality (typical very cheap Chinese stuff like Goldstar).

Re:Customers? (2, Insightful)

philwx (789834) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372717)

I remember back in the early 90s when Gateway was a "rebel" clone company against the IBM PC's. They were the underdog with mail order customizable computers and fair prices. Unless my memory fails me.

Then after a little success, in come the greedy execs that try to go for the lowest denominator in quality that can still pass for functional; now it's trash years later. Where do the execs go? They find another company to ruin.

Re:Customers? (1)

dattaway (3088) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373051)

Back then Gateways were the highest benchmarking computers and were well engineered. Their hardware, such as their keyboards were unique and had features that make them still valuable. They seem to have been buried under all the same commodity hardware badged under various brand names that's been flooding our market.

Re:Customers? (1)

Verteiron (224042) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373161)

They were actually Gateway 2000 back then, weren't they? Those were some good machines.

Re:Customers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20373447)

We used to purchase from Gateway until a couple months ago when we made to switch to HP.
Our sales rep, who was amazing, was the only thing holding us back from switching sooner. If there was any problem with service she would have her "team members" resolve the problem.

We did make the mistake of purchasing a NAS server from them. When the motherboard failed tech support said to buy a new board from Ebay because they didn't stock it.

two wrongs don't make a right (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20372267)

what are they trying to do, build the suckiest computer evar?

Re:two wrongs don't make a right (1)

computerman413 (1122419) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372319)

I'm typing this on a Gateway, and am much happier with this system than I ever was with my Dell or HP.

Re:two wrongs don't make a right (1)

gn0min0mic0n (1141573) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372579)

Several years ago my mother bought a Gateway, and that was when I learned to use a PC. It was a P133, with 32MB RAM and a 1.5GB hard drive, and it ran Windows 95 (go ahead and laugh, I know I do when I think about it). I learned how to use DOS commands to get my games running, and the basics of the Internet/dial-up on that thing.

Re:two wrongs don't make a right (3, Funny)

S.O.B. (136083) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372897)

Several years ago my mother bought a Gateway, and that was when I learned to use a PC. It was a P133, with 32MB RAM and a 1.5GB hard drive, and it ran Windows 95 (go ahead and laugh, I know I do when I think about it).


More than several years ago (24 years ago to be exact) I worked on a brand new IBM XT with an Intel 8088 running at 4.77MHz, 128KB of RAM and a 10MB hard drive. It ran IBM DOS 2.1. In modern terms that would be a 0.00477 GHz processor with 0.000128GB of RAM and a 0.010GB hard drive. When I think about it I don't laugh...I cry.

Re:two wrongs don't make a right (2, Funny)

turnipsatemybaby (648996) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373343)

Whoa... you had a hard drive?

I didn't even get that much. I had two floppy drives and that's it.

Cue the "luxury" jokes in 3...2...1...

Re:two wrongs don't make a right (2, Interesting)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373523)

I had two floppy drives and that's it.

Lucky, you had floppies. :P Try waiting 10 minutes to load a 16K program from cassette, just to find the volume was too low/high and you had to start over. Wish I still had the box, even if you *can* find TRS-80 emulators [discover-net.net] out there...

Re:two wrongs don't make a right (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373003)

Why would anyone laugh, unless this was in 2002 or something? I used Windows 98 at home until I got fed up of the latest games requiring XP.. I didn't start using PCs until around 99 though, it was always Macs and Amigas before that.

Re:two wrongs don't make a right (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372607)

You forgot the #@$)(*! NO CARRIER part...

Oh wait, were you serious? I've serviced Dell's, HP's, and Gateways. While the former aren't great comparable to a lot of home-built systems, they're usually not too terrible except for the preloaded crapware. The worst issue I've had with Dell is the seemingly-deliberate introduced incompatibilities with consumer parts (to sell you Dell parts, like a floppy drive at 2.5x normal cost). Gateways, when they blow up (and I think the only reason I don't end up fixing more of them is because they're luckily not that common) tend to have all sorts of interesting components inside... usually a mix of hardware from brands I've never heard of, from companies that no longer exist, because they either recreate themselves regularly to avoid bad publicity or just died off due to suckishess.

Re:two wrongs don't make a right (1)

canUbeleiveIT (787307) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373075)

Gateways, when they blow up (and I think the only reason I don't end up fixing more of them is because they're luckily not that common) tend to have all sorts of interesting components inside... usually a mix of hardware from brands I've never heard of, from companies that no longer exist, because they either recreate themselves regularly to avoid bad publicity or just died off due to suckishess.
What components exactly are so off-brand? I've never seen a brand-name computer with a motherboard, processor, hard drive, video card or sound card that wasn't a recognizable brand. In my opinion, the cases on an eMachines, Gateway or Dell are usually better than an entry-level aftermarket case. So what are you left with? An off-brand optical or floppy drive? Even "good" brands of those items break with frightening regularity.

Re:two wrongs don't make a right (2, Funny)

jcr (53032) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372723)

Wow, talk about damning with faint praise...

-jcr

No, (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372757)

they'd need to add Packard Bell to create the Unholy Trinity. then, the suckiest computer ever could be conceived.

Re:two wrongs don't make a right (1)

no_pets (881013) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372859)

Maybe they just think that cow hide boxes look cool.

Re:two wrongs don't make a right (1)

sgholt (973993) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372903)

Ok, I am actually shocked by the anti-Acer and anti-Gateway posts...I personally think that these are 2 of the best computer companies in recent history. Who makes a better machine? Dell, Compaq, HP, Packard Bell? Please, I don't think so...
I would rather build my own machine and have. I also still have my first computer, an Acer Acros P75 (about 15 years old), still works fine...I have a Gateway(about 6-7 years old)...with upgrades I did it still works fine too. My Acer laptop is also in great shape, you will note that Acer has been building laptops longer than anyone.
I have several others that are local shop builds...all in good shape. Why have I not had problems?
hmmm...I don't know, I treat my machines right, I clean them regularly, I use the proper components when I upgrade...I service all my own machines which may be a more important factor in owning a computer than the brand...but then I have always thought that it was important to learn how things work and to how to fix them when they don't.

I think this purchase will only be good for all concerned!

Re:two wrongs don't make a right (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373457)

> Who makes a better machine? Dell, Compaq, HP, Packard Bell?

Yes, Yes, Yes (same company), and no. The last one is already gone.

> Please, I don't think so...

The analysts, the reviewers, and the market all say different. You rebel you.

Re:two wrongs don't make a right (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373093)

Its pretty hard to catch up to the huge lead Packard Bell developed in the past. Truly the worlds first "semi-disposable" computer..

Good move by Acer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20372309)

But too bad for gateway shareholders who were in at a higher price per share. Anyway, this gives Acer a nationally recognized brand name to use as a vehicle for their products.

Unfortunately, people have seen this before w/ IBM (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372483)

There's nowhere to go but up short of scraping the bottom - compared to Lenovo that wants to drag the last well-made laptop down a few notches.

Lenovo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20372955)

Word on the street is that Lenovo are also bidding the same amount.

Gateway after sales service sucks (1)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372313)

I gave up buying Gateway years ago. The machines were OK, but if something went wrong getting it fixed (and I was quite willing to pay) was a nightmare. Their administrators were incompetent, disinterested and I lost large amounts of time trying to get simple things done.

This can only be a good thing for customers. Gateway: RIP - at last!

Re:Gateway after sales service sucks (1)

Tofystedeth (1076755) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372589)

Tell me about it. My work computer had the screen die, and since it was out of warranty, we had to send it in to get it replaced. Somehow in the process of fixing the screen, they managed to screw up the harddrive.

Re:Gateway after sales service sucks (1)

jombeewoof (1107009) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372893)

Tell me about it. My work computer had the screen die, and since it was out of warranty, we had to send it in to get it replaced. Somehow in the process of fixing the screen, they managed to screw up the harddrive.
Why would you send in the whole computer, when only the screen was dead. Unless it was a laptop, that may have been the stupidest thing you did all year.
well, there was that other thing, but we won't talk about that

Re:Gateway after sales service sucks (1)

Tofystedeth (1076755) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373095)

Its not a laptop, but it isn't a standard desktop. It's one of those stupid hybrids, where the whole of the computer (except peripherals/input) are built into the back/bottom of the screen. I hate hate hate them.

Re:Gateway after sales service sucks (1)

demonbug (309515) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373187)

Thank Apple for that annoying idea (all the fricking iMac clones).

Re:Gateway after sales service sucks (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373133)

Even if it is a laptop, you should only send in the bare machine and any relevant parts. Dell actually requires this, probably because it has the benefit of protecting Dell if you claim that it came back with parts missing. The battery, hard disk, and RAM are easily removed.

Re:Gateway after sales service sucks (1)

Arathon (1002016) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372595)

Ummm...apparently you've never tried Acer's customer service. I had one of their Ferrari 3200 laptops (i.e., a premium-brand, ridiculously expensive and therefore theoretically high-priority-support purchase), and it was unbelievably miserable. Their turnaround time was horrible, I was a better tech than the support reps, and when my hard drive failed and I asked for a replacement, they sent me a DESKTOP hard drive.

This sounds to me like nothing nothing more than a company I hate with my whole soul buying out a company I could not care less about.

On the other hand...maybe this could be really cool. I could totally see a Ferrari-branded, Holstein-spotted laptop....now that would really Turn Heads...

Re:Gateway after sales service sucks (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372853)

Indeed. The heads would then quickly start laughing at you. I could never take seriously a computer manufacturer that associated itself with cows. That, and the brand new gateway one of my dormmates got in college proved it was shitty beyond anything I'd ever seen. It must have had a blazing fast 2000rpm hard drive... ugh.

Re:Gateway after sales service sucks (5, Funny)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373127)

I had one of their Ferrari 3200 laptops

Ah yes, combining the prestige of a Taiwanese electronics OEM with the affordability and reliability of an Italian sports car manufacturer. It's a match made in heaven.

Re:Gateway after sales service sucks (1)

Slack3r78 (596506) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373231)

Somebody hasn't dealt with Gateway's service in a couple of years. I bought a Gateway MX6625 a couple of years ago because I got it at a steal. Really solid, well-designed notebook in general and that entire series of notebook was really easy to work on if something happened.

Anyway, the original AC adapter that came with mine was defective and would overheat every once in a while. I call up Gateway tech support, get somebody in the US who speaks clear English, and within 15 minutes (counting hold time) I had an RMA setup and they cross-shipped me a new adapter overnight.

About 8 months into my owning the notebook, the screen developed some backlight leakage in one corner. Again, I called up tech support and had an RMA within 15-20 minutes. Gateway payed for DHL overnight both ways. Once they received the notebook, it was given to a technician and fixed in about 4 hours. Long story short, my total downtime was less than 72 hours.

I've since sold that notebook to a friend of mine and bought a Macbook Pro, but as someone working in the business, I was absolutely [i]shocked[/i] at how solid Gateway's after sales support was, and would say without hesitation that it was probably the best in the industry and would (and did) recommend them to anyone that asked.

Gateway moved out of the ultra low-end of the market a few years ago. If you looked at their website, they had nothing in the $500 range that Dell and HP fight over and had instead been focusing on the mid-upper range of the market, and backing it with fantastic tech support.

..and nothing of value was lost... (2, Interesting)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372317)

Seriously, Gateway has always made really crappy computers. Compaq and Gateway are two brands I've always gotten burned on (weird, non upgradeable components that basically mean your box is worthless after a couple of years).

Re:..and nothing of value was lost... (5, Informative)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372621)

Seriously, Gateway has always made really crappy computers.

I've never purchased a Gateway, but I do follow the trends in reliability, price, performance, and support from major vendors. Objectively, Gateway has not "always" made crappy computers. Instead they followed a common trend in computer manufacturing/sales. Within the first few years they made quality machines and had excellent support, both better than average for the price. Then, when they had a reputation and brand, the company executives cashed it in for quick profit by selling machines made more cheaply and poorly and counting on their reputation to get people to buy. The exact same thing happened with Alienware about a year before Dell bought them.

Sometimes at a later date a company can reverse course to some degree. Dell's laptops, for example, have gained in quality and reliability over the last few years and are no longer the cheapest junk they can assemble using whatever is inexpensive today. Usually, however, with enough customers pissed off and vowing never to buy crap from Brand X again, it makes more sense in business to simply start Brand Y and count on consumers do not do any homework or even look at consumer reports instead of the TV ad where the guy says its a good deal.

Re:..and nothing of value was lost... (1)

sharky611aol.com (682311) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372653)

Not so. My first three computers (circa 1992, 95, and 98) were all Gateways and all excellent machines that I had very few problems with. And on the rare occasions where I had problems, their service department was top-notch. You could call and speak to someone who spoke English, was knowledgeable and friendly.

This all changed about 8-20 years ago. I'm not sure if they just lost their way, had to cut too many corners to try and compete with Dell or just got too big for their britches, but it's simply not the same company it was back then. I have a Gateway laptop now that my med school supplies us all with, and it is the most horrid, evil machine I have ever had to deal with. Maybe Acer can turn them around, but I doubt it.

Re:..and nothing of value was lost... (1)

webrunner (108849) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372951)

[blockquote]My first three computers (circa 1992, 95, and 98) .... This all changed about 8-20 years ago [/blockquote]

So, it was good between 92 and 98, but bad between 87 and 99?

Re:..and nothing of value was lost... (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372655)

Not always. Some of us remember them from their days of 'Computers from Iowa???" ads in Computer Shopper. Ted Waite used to build custom-build PC boxes using standard motherboards and standard cases out of his grandmother's barn in Iowa and sell them in the direct channel.

One day they transformed into a Dell-style manufacturing operation and have never been the same since, of course.

Re:..and nothing of value was lost... (1)

freedomlinux (1072142) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372939)

Gateway and Compaq have a tendency to suffer from poor quality, but I can only be expected from such bargain products.
I must admit that I have used several Gateway desktops and notebooks (including the MA6 Centrino Duo 15" notebook I am using now), but only because they are provided by the state university system, which is bound by law to purchase the computer with the lowest feasible price.
People who want a computer that doesn't need to be replaced every year are advised to seek a different manufacturer. My 7-month old MA6 already suffers from severe case discoloration and a degrading keyboard.

Re:..and nothing of value was lost... (1)

OldeTimeGeek (725417) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372999)

Um, not really. My first two Intel-based computers were Gateways and I had nothing but good luck with them. I also found nothing particularly proprietary on them (unlike Compaq). I upgraded memory, disk, cards and even processors and never had any problem with it.

My first one ran for over five years before the power supply finally gave out. I decided it was time to build one myself, so I gave it to a co-worker for his kids to play with. He replaced the power supply and it worked for another three years before finally giving up the ghost. I think it might have been due to the 4- and 6-year olds trying to put interesting things into the drives or trying to hot-insert an EISA card, but I may be wrong...

Acer buying anything? (2, Insightful)

bstorer (738305) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372329)

Amazing. Considering the Acers I've used, it's shocking that they're still around, let alone capable of buying another company!

#4 in the world (1)

charnov (183495) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372415)

Acer ranks 4th in the world with revenues around $15 billion. They are the largest vendor in Taiwan. They might shoot up to three with this purchase. Remember that Gateway just bought eMachines, which still has decent sales, and that they are in the process of buying Packard Bell, which still does a good bit in Europe.

Re:#4 in the world (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373041)

Dang. I certainly didn't know Packard Bell was still around. My first "IBM Compat" was a Packard Bell (486SX 20mhz, 2mb ram, 80mb hard drive). Worked fine for what it was, but if anyone thinks that a Gateway or Dell uses proprietary non-upgradeable stuff, you have NO IDEA how bad Packard Bell was. Non-standard motherboard form factor, non-standard powersupply, non-standard CPU upgrade path (the CPU was SOLDERED onto the board - if you wanted to upgrade you plugged your new CPU into the "extra" CPU socket and jumpered the original one to disabled). Heck the included RAM was even soldered onto the mobo so there was no taking it with you to a new computer. And of course there's 4 RAM slots. Can you just upgrade willy-nilly? No. You had to fill all 4 slots to make any of them work.

Amazingly I did end up upgrading that computer just a bit - added an internal 14.4k modem, took the memory from 2mb to 6mb, added a sound card and CD-Rom "multimedia kit", and upgraded the CPU to a 485DX 75Mhz using an "overdrive" chip. It got replaced when Windows 95 came out and it couldn't quite handle it (nor could it be easily made to). It's strange but back then Windows 95 seemed like such an advanced and new thing compared to 3.1 :).

I don't know if you know this but.... (1)

Chineseyes (691744) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372875)

I don't know if you know this but Acer is HUGE in Asia.

Re:I don't know if you know this but.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20373545)

Not here in Japan.

emachines (1)

SolusSD (680489) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372357)

hmm.. since emachines merged with gateway, what does this mean for emachines? I'm a bit surprised that gateway could be bought for $710 million.

$710 Million (1)

njfuzzy (734116) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372599)

I know for sure that Apple has billions of cash in the bank (well, liqued assets in general). How can it be that the fourth biggest by market share could easily buy the third? Has Gateway been selling machines at a loss? heh.

Wonderful news (2, Funny)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372397)

They have the potential to be the next Packard Bell. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Wonderful news (1)

Melanie1001 (515714) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372451)

The wild part is - Gateway has been looking into buying Packard Bell, as has Lenovo

From the article:

"Acer's acquisition deal with Gateway also derails rival Lenovo Group's plans to acquire Packard Bell."

Not only are they looking to become the next one, they want to buy the original!

Re:Wonderful news (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372533)

The wild part is - Gateway has been looking into buying Packard Bell, as has Lenovo
Lenovo has dragged the Thinkpad too far down, I'd hate to see what Packard Bell influences would do to it.

Re:Wonderful news (4, Informative)

DaveWick79 (939388) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372597)

Under the radar of most US consumers, Packard Bell has actually become a fairly reputable manufacturer again in Europe. Last I heard they were putting out fairly good product.

The reason that Gateway and Lenovo are interested in Packard Bell is so they can capture some of the European market without having to go into it starting with nothing.

Re:Wonderful news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20372745)

Thinkpads are still far better than most laptops. If I was in the market for a laptop, I would definitely get a Thinkpad or a MacBook Pro. Both are far better than anything Acer or Dell has to offer. While Lenovo had some problems with their early revisions of the Thinkpad, the current T61 and T61p models are excellent.

What the? (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372571)

lol UGH, Packard Bell. I can't believe that Acer has more sales than Gateway. I've never thought of them as a major PC vendor. As for Gateway... ahhh I used to love them. I've owned three of them actually. Alas, I too have been burned by the proprietary hardware and their support isn't quite what it used to be. Reliability was the final straw for me though... I've seen too many Gateway laptops give up the ghost for me to stick with them.

As a former Acer reseller (3, Informative)

CodeShark (17400) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372519)

What most people don't realize is that for years Acer was one of the largest sources for COMPONENTS, not finished systems -- so they tend to weed out poor components first, resulting in better systems at the end of the assembly chain.


So [as a former Acer reseller / small business consultant who moved more into data engineering and away from hardware by choice, not necessity] I would have to say that "this figures". Why? Because I could always upgrade the Acer machines I bought/sold to my clients, and in all of the sites I ever sold to and supported I think I had one machine failure before "end of cycle", i.e., about 3 years later when the cost benefit ratio for a new machine becomes higher than the cost of maintaining an old one. Versus the Gateway, Packard Bell, or even Dell reputation for crap service.

Hmmm. I wonder if this might actually make Gateway stock worth *something* again....

Re:As a former Acer reseller (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372677)

I've always hated their desktops. I had a lot of trouble, but then most of the low-end consumer PCs aren't a lot of fun.

They do make reasonably good and damn cheap notebooks. My notebook, when I actually use it, is an Acer.

Another way to get customers... (1)

juniorbird (74686) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372663)

This is a clever purchase in that it gets Acer access to a bunch of customers who might never have considered it, but I'm tempted to think that they could've gotten the same customers just by having innovative designs.

Re:Another way to get customers... (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372815)

"bunch of customers who might never have considered it"

All 17 of them???

Gateway had some nice machines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20372689)

Within the last 6-8 months gateway had managed to start making some nice laptops again. In June when I was looking for a new laptop no one had what I wanted. Gateway had a cheap base laptop where you could customize almost everything and I ended up with what I wanted at a good price. Total time from order, build and arrival was 4 days. It's too bad to see Acer buy them.

Dinosaurs mating... (4, Interesting)

jht (5006) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372695)

This takes two companies with minimal brand equity and merges them to provide better buying power and a lower cost of goods. The fact that Gateway was worth only $710 million despite being the third-largest vendor here in the US should say something right there. And it's not good.

Market Cap of some major US PC vendors:
HP 125.68B
Apple 115.8B
Dell 61.63B
Gateway 676.29M

See an interesting trend? Gateway would be pocket change to any of those bigger companies. Basically, they died in retail, were taken over from within by E-Machines (even though Gateway bought E-Machines, the execs from E-Machines wound up in charge - just like when NeXT was bought by Apple) and stabilized just enough to turn into the company into bait for Acer.

Goodbye, Gateway...

Re:Dinosaurs mating... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20372973)

Yeah and would you like to apply a similar comparison to OSes? Goodbye, Linux...

Juding by your figures, Apple looks real good..... (1)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373429)

I find it interesting that despite the prevailing mentality that Apple is a "niche market player" - they've got such a strong market cap, with no signs of it declining.

Nay-sayers will scream that "It's only because they sold tons of iPods!", but don't forget that they're not all THAT far from matching HP's market cap, and Apple doesn't even manufacture their own printers OR scanners anymore! (On the other hand, HP did license the iPod from Apple for a while!)

dear gateway haters (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372755)

gateway isn't that bad. what always attracted me too them was products i couldn't get anywhere else (like the pre-windows excellent gateway nomad subnotebook)

so lately, that has been the gateway tablet [gateway.com] (heavy, but cheap... go ahead, find me something cheaper and prove me wrong, you can't)

it's fun to play civ4 on a sub-$1000 tablet pc, as many a curious onlooker can attest to. made possible by gateway

thank you gateway

Re:dear gateway haters (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372817)

You haven't dealt with Gateway customer "support", I see.

Re:dear gateway haters (1)

jfbilodeau (931293) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372905)

I agree with the previous post. I'm a developer and trainer and I need to run Eclipse, JBoss, BEA Weblogic and other heavy apps (Including NWN ;)). I'm writing this from a inexpensive, two year old Gateway laptop (MX6440) running Feisty. I like the laptop so much, that even being two years old behind in technology, I have no desire to upgrade.

No, I don't work for Gateway or anything like this. I'm just a customer who is surprisingly satisfied with his laptop. I would consider Gateway for my next purchase.

J-F

I can't complain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20372795)

Glad I bought that cheap GTW stock a few months ago. Rumors have been circulating for a while that Acer was gonna buy them, but I had my doubts. Would've liked to see the stock go up a little first, but I can't really complain at +50% since Friday.

Gateway bought on spot markets (1)

gelfling (6534) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372831)

Gateway - pre eMachines achieved their low costs by buying everything on spot markets. So today's PC's wasn't the same as yesterday's or tomorrows. What you got was what they managed to source at that single moment. This made support damn near impossible. And of course QA was terrible. What the guys at eMachines did was deploy only a small handful of models at a time and they were all standard and compliant. I rather like by eMachines boxes and I hope they continue.

They are still in business? (1)

bmomjian (195858) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372863)

I didn't realize either company was still around.

We ace gay art (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20372865)

Gacer?
Aceway?
Getaway Race? (anagram)
We ace gay art? (another anagram)

Ah, brings back memories of Computer Shopper... (1)

maillemaker (924053) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372883)

I used to relish the old Computer Shopper magazine, back when it was the size of a phone book. In the middle thereabouts was always a multi-page spread for Gateway. They used to be about the cheapest mainstream source for PCs and I used their ads as a benchmark for what the going price was for things.

Brand inversion (1)

zdzichu (100333) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372923)

Huh? What's next, Fujitsu-Siemens buying Dell? Or Packard Bell buying HP?
It pretty funny when company generally known for producing inferior products buys company producing higher quality stuff. But it happens. Apple, maker of punny Xservers and gadgets could easily buy Sun Microsystems with their powerful 16-Opteron cores servers and massively multithreaded CPUs.

Buying a brand (1)

athloi (1075845) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372967)

Old relationship: Acer builds computers, Gateway rebrands them, and then trashes its reputation by poor service

New relationship: Acer builds and sells computers as Gateway, avoids trashing its relationship to the same degree by poor service, ???->profit.

It's an incremental upgrade for the consumer. The Gateway brand is still valuable because it's recognized and most people don't think of it as terrible, not in the least part because most people have had problems with their better-rated (Dell, Compaq) brands. The same is true of eMachines and Packard Bell, at least in Europe. Acer's moving ahead but the question is whether they can fix their own spotty performance.

Obviously, price beats quality every time (1)

LittleRunningGag (1124519) | more than 7 years ago | (#20372977)

Acer has the absolute worst notebook warranty service of any company. Gateway / eMachines has the second worst. Just goes to show you that price beats quality every time.

Share Price (1)

necro81 (917438) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373105)

It is very interesting to look at the Gateway's share price history - as the summary suggests. Stock symbol GTW [google.com] . Click on the 10 year view to see that, at the height of the dot-com days, it was trading at $60-$80. Since the bubble has burst, it has been steadily been below $10. Today at $1.80.

2 things (4, Interesting)

kilgor3 (1148239) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373223)

Are they outsourcing the jobs? and I hear a lot of Gateway bashing here. It's understandable, but 8 years ago I bought a gateway. It FINALLY died about 2 weeks ago. This computer handled being on almost everyday, over 150 linux installs a few windows installs and has NEVER been cleaned out with a vacuum or anything. It's dirty as hell and I'm affraid to open it to fix the damn thing. I primarily used this computer for 2 things; 1) Testing all the latest linux distros 2) Downloading my pr0n, warez and music. I think it would still work if I popped another hard drive in. So all in all I had an AMAZING Gateway experience. I wouldn't buy another pre-made PC now that I use laptops and build my own PCs. I needed the Gateway for school at the time and didn't have the time to build my own.

Gateway is gone... (1)

bomanbot (980297) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373533)

...finally somebody thought of the cows! ;-)

Stock picking is a loosers game (1)

jaypaulw (889877) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373583)

those of us that purchased Gateway shares

What kind of person buys individual company shares?

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