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Gateway Thunders Into SAN Market

Gateway Inc. is following its major PC competitors into the midrange SAN market, announcing a deal today to resell the Hitachi Ltd. (NYSE: HIT; Paris: PHA) Thunder 9500V series of storage arrays.

The move will put Gateway into competition with longtime PC rivals Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL), Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) in a midrange SAN market that also includes EMC, Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP), and Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW), as well as Hitachi.

Data Mobility Group senior analyst John Webster says the question now is: How good will Gateway be as a channel? "Gateway got a quality product [in the Hitachi Thunder]," he says. "Well have to see how successful they’ll be in penetrating the storage market with it, because they have no presence there."

Gateway’s push into the storage market is part of the company’s overall strategy to become more of a "branded integrator" and expand its small and midsized business customer base.

The company is entering the storage market after losing $138 million in the third quarter of 2003. Most of its sales in the quarter were on the professional side, which was flat from the previous year while consumer sales dropped nearly $200,000, or 33 percent.

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