ROUND ROCK, TX—The tech world reeled Tuesday on reports that personal computer powerhouse Dell had been acquired by competitor Gateway 2000 in a $24.4 billion buyout that unites two of the industry’s top players as they look to take on perennial market frontrunner Compaq. “This is a watershed moment in which two tech-sector titans have forged a powerful alliance against a common rival,” market analyst Darren Jacobs said after news of the mega-deal propelled Dell’s stock to record levels, leaving industry leaders like Acer, NEC, and Lenovo in the dust. “Together, these two visionary forces will be capable of offering some of the largest desktops and monitors on the market, as well as black-and-white printers, color printers, high-speed disk drives—you name it. If I were Compaq—or Packard Bell, for that matter—I’d be very nervous right now.” At press time, the web was abuzz with rumors that the new company will roll out a revamped version of the iconic Dell Dimension Pentium desktop, which sources said will come preloaded with Windows 95 and be sold in Gateway’s beloved and ubiquitous cow-print boxes.