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Thank you for your comments. You make a very good point that will ring true for many of our readers. Linux installers have come a long way over the past few years, but every installer doesn't always work flawlessly with every possible hardware configuration. Often this is not because of Linux but is due to the lack of Linux support from hardware vendors. The best remedy is for the vendors to understand that Linux is a viable consumer system and to provide better support for it. Some vendors are starting to realize this, and the situation is gradually improving.

The other side of this is that the Linux choice, like any consumer choice, is a matter of costs and benefits. You can usually get Linux working, but it sometimes requires time, and occasionally, replacement of non-Linux-ready components. Microsoft, on the other hand, spends millions and millions of dollars on testing and perfecting their installation tools, but they pass that cost on to the customer.

The Windows Vista Business Edition retails for around US$ 300. You could subscribe to this premium magazine for three years – and get 36 Linux distributions along with 36 insightful issues – for the cost of one Windows DVD that certainly has its own share of technical problems.

And, as many others continue to point out, that "free" Windows DVD in your new PC box is not really so free – the costs are just hidden from your view, or perhaps I should say, hidden from the vista of your purchasing perspective.

Please send your comments and suggestions to letters@linux-magazine.com

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