Here's something that may be a surprise: Gateway announced today that they are "the only PC maker fully meeting high expectations of its surveyed customer base," as they are in the top position for the for corporate desktops in Technology Business Research's Corporate IT Buying Behavior and Customer Satisfaction Study for Corporate Desktops.

"TBR identified three competitive strengths for Gateway in the marketplace -- ease of doing business, phone support and parts availability. According to TBR, Gateway is the only PC maker with no urgent challenges in customer satisfaction.

"In addition, the report shows that Gateway has consistently earned high marks in hardware quality, desktop value and overall satisfaction. Recent gains are reflected in Gateway's rising customer loyalty positions and a substantial increase in hardware quality."

TBR went on to say that Gateway exceeds customer expectations and a higher perception of customer service through high-quality telephone support.

Interesting, as the field in the the ACSI scores, Gateway follows Apple, Dell, HP, and is trailed by Compaq and IBM.(Each quarter, ACSI measures the satisfaction in many different market segments, including personal computers.) And in PC Magazine's annual Customer Satisfaction study last summer, Apple also came out on top, but noted last summer that Gateway was gaining ground...

"Once again, Apple and Sony are Readers' Choices, receiving some of the highest ratings for desktops. Once again, HP/Compaq and Lenovo/IBM receive some of the lowest. Of course, the similarities shine a particularly bright spotlight on the few things that did change. Both eMachines and its parent brand, Gateway, show significant improvement from last year, while Dell, despite some impressive individual scores, takes a slight statistical dip overall (emphasis there on slight)."

Tags: Microsoft, loyalty, Customer Satisfaction, Customer Service.