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  In reply to Charles Kelly, NT*Pro's message sent 11/9/97 6:07 AM:
  >I'd feel more comfortable with people who are positive advocates for
  >whatever their position is. Be an advocate for Sun, be an advocate for
  >Linux, be an advocate for OS/2, be an advocate for Microsoft -- "whatever
  >floats your boat." At least when you are an advocate for something you take
  >time to really get to know it. This "I hate Microsoft" is fear driven from
  >the unknown. I doubt if anyone on this list really knows much about
  >Microsoft other that what they fear. I really feel that if they knew more
  >about the company and their practices (not the imagined ones) that they
  >would at least have a chance to see these issues in a more balanced light. 
  I take personal exception to this remark on two grounds. First, I have 
  myself (and others present and unaccounted for) made a considerable 
  effort to "know" about Microsoft and their behavior in the marketplace, 
  and so are not speaking through their collective hats, as you might have 
  Second, your dismissive characterization of those of us who would bring 
  these facts to light as "haters" is condescending at best. Some people 
  will express hatred, to be sure, but a great many other express a sense 
  of frustration, not only resulting from a lack of choice, but over the 
  means by which that lack of choice was foisted upon them.
  As one who has been on the "front lines" of this issue for over a year, I 
  can attest to the fact that this was a very lonely place until very 
  recently. Microsoft has held the floor of the debate uncontested, and 
  used their formidable powers to promote whatever was in their interests 
  via commercial speech. They also continue to maintain unfettered access 
  to media; Bill Gates opens his mouth, and his words instantly appear in 
  every press outlet on Earth. In short, Microsoft has no problem 
  whatsoever making its case to the public.
  Far from creating an "unbalanced" view, the public criticism of Microsoft 
  we are know hearing from this list and elsewhere is finally beginning to 
  restore some sense of balance to the overall debate. I find it curious 
  that even to discuss the very _real_ (as opposed to imagined) questions 
  of Microsoft's often consumer-hostile behavior is taken as threatening by 
  some. Efforts to dismiss this discussion as a product of a "fear of the 
  unknown" I have to take as evidence of this phenomenon. As a blanket 
  characterization, it is also gravely in error.
     Mitch Stone
     Half the lies they tell me aren't true.
                           -- Yogi Berra
     Boycott Microsoft ** http://www.vcnet.com/bms