Beleaguered Gateway puts on a happy face

By SteveJack

“Stung by massive financial losses and two restructurings in a year’s time, Gateway Computer is trying to quell the flames of discontent with bold moves. Just announced an aggressive advertising campaign that attacks the shortcomings of iMacs. Days earlier, CEO Ted Waitt assuaged inflamed shareholders by talking confidently about his comeback plan, and new management team. May give momentary lift to Gateway loyalists. But the only thing that will clinch a turnaround is four consecutive quarters of great financial results. We remain skeptical. Gateway is headed for niche status; is no longer a mainstream player.”

The previous paragraph is a direct copy of the now infamous blurb from the ZDNet AnchorDesk, “Beleaguered Apple Puts On a Happy Face”, dated Monday, February 10, 1997, with “Apple,” “Gil Amelio,” and “PCs” replaced with “Gateway,” Ted Waitt,” and “iMacs” respectively. It works nicely, does it not? Yes, I still carry a grudge about the dark days of Apple between Steve’s reigns, when the media piled on and nearly wore out the word “beleaguered,” but this little exercise today has helped assuage the grudge immensely.

Now, nearly six years after the ZDNet article was published, Apple is one of the healthiest computer makers on the planet and even seems to be growing its market share incrementally. You can bet Gateway wishes they were Apple. While I still hate the word beleaguered, it does have a nice ring to it when it precedes the name “Gateway.” At least Apple never had to resort to buy one computer, get one free. Let’s check on Commod… errr, Gateway in six years time, shall we? Moo.

SteveJack is a long-time Macintosh user, web designer, multimedia producer and a regular contributor to the MacDailyNews Opinion section.

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