Gateway Inc. of Irvine Deemed No. 1 Epic Tech Failure of All-Time

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Gateway Inc., which was founded in 1985 in Sioux City, Iowa (thus the cow logo), was flying high by 1991, with some believing it was poised to become the biggest and most popular personal computer maker in the world. But after a dodgy retail store strategy, the dot-com bust and moves to North South City, South Dakota; La Jolla, Poway and finally, with the 2004 purchase of eMachines, Irvine, Gateway today is regarded as the "No. 1 Epic Tech Failure of All Time."

That's the opinion of CIO Insight, which has compiled a list of the top 10 flops. Here is the entry for Gateway:

1) Gateway
There was a time when many believed that Gateway would be the biggest and most popular PC maker in the world. But soon after the company tried its luck with retail stores, and then quickly discovered that it didn't have the right enterprise strategy in place, it started to die. Gateway lives on today in name only. But the vast majority of PC buyers out there have no desire to buy its products.

Also interesting ...

6) Microsoft Bob
Microsoft Bob was supposed to make it easier for users to bridge the gap between the technical requirements needed to run a computer and their novice skills. But in the end, Bob was a downright joke that Microsoft was forced to discontinue after realizing the errors of its ways.

Released in March 1995, Microsoft Bob was among the corporation's most visible product failures. So what make it interesting? At one time the project was managed by Melinda French, who you may know now as Melinda Gates.

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Gateway is yet another company making commodity (read: junk) Windows computers in a slow, sad race to the bottom.  With an average profit of about $200 per machine, companies like HP and gateway have to rethink their priorities.  My experience with Gateway reflects their total lack of quality - as much as 50% of these turkeys were dead on arrival from the factory.  They had almost NO tech support, and warranty repairs used old, refurbished parts that soon broke.

No wonder the Windows PC market is slowly dying.


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mitch young
mitch young

Wow, blast from the past. I remember unloading a whole truckload of those piebald boxes back when I was in the Nav'. Totally forgot about the company. Seems they were going the wrong way geographically too -- why would you move from cheap  (reliable and literate) labor territory lie Iowa to progressively more expensive cities in California? It's not like they were coding or whatever. They just sold shit.

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