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First thank you for your reply (I think?). I admit I am just Joe computer-user and I have to call an IT person to format a disk. But I think I am representive of 90% of the people out there who use computers. Go ahead hit me again, I can take it.

I find it interesting that you think the question of how a company can make money, "ultimately shallow". I guess I still come from the old school of earnings and PE ratios. Could you figure out for me what the theoretical PE ratio would be for pre-IPO earnings and the current stock price? Oh yeah, you must be using 2036 earnings projections. Or better yet, 2036 cash flow projections. Your right, I am new to this foolish way.

I admit, I have not used Linux, and ease of use are based upon reading and listening to other's comments. I believe I heard Torvald himself during a radio interview that said Linux would not be a series threat unless Microsoft was forced to publish the information necessary to allow Linux to run Word, Excel, etc. He had written a letter to the Justice Dept. asking them to require that as part of the Microsoft settlement discussions. His read, not mine.

MS products are just too dominate in the average Jo-schmo business world. Most companies feel they must be compatible with what others are using. Maybe it's a lame reason, but I think it is real. I, Joe computer-user, won't brother to go there until it's all around me. Apple is a better OS, but look where that got it. VCR BetaMax was a better system also. So what, I have to reboot once a day.

Does MS have any interest in a linux type OS? Who knows. I doubt it. But I wouldn' underestimate their ability to match a threat. I was thinking they would not replace WIN, but create a separate division/company to sell to people who will insist upon using it. If you can't sell them your product, sell the other product. You've made the sale and control all. It is the MS way.

LNUX, Linux, RHAT, hardware, software, yahda, yahda, yahda. Your right I'm not clear about what company is actually trying to provide what service or product. The discussion is will linux-based companies be able to penetrate the PC market to any degree. Not unseat MS, just make some money at it to justify their valuations. I know you've heard it all before.

I agree people will buy from RHAT for the support, etc. I'll give you that point. But if that is the case, will they buy it from a wholly-owned MS company. With all MS's faults, there is a certain security for average Jo-user to buying a MS product. (Techies must just be cringing right now).

Well thanks for the joust. Better you than the wife.

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