Dueling Fools: Dell

Is there brand loyalty in the computing space? I know that Apple Computer (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) users live and die by their machines, but does that kind of loyalty also exist in the Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) -powered world?

I'm asking this because I am pecking away the introduction to this week's duel on a Dell Computer (Nasdaq: DELL  ) keyboard, hooked up to a Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) desktop. I also have a pair of entry-level Gateway (NYSE: GTW  ) machines around the house, and my latest laptop is an Acer.

Now that I've explained how I have no brand loyalty in personal computing, I have the awkward task of asking you to show your loyalty. See, we're about to have two fellow Fools argue about Dell, and then you will have to do what I have failed to do -- pick a side.

David Gardner recommended Dell two years ago to his Stock Advisor newsletter service subscribers. (It's more recently been recommended in our Inside Value newsletter, where Microsoft has been singled out as a bargain stock, too.) The leading computer maker hasn't done much since then, but is there some light at the end of the tunnel? Will an improving economy and Microsoft's new operating system later this year help Dell resume its heady growth?

Not all Fools agree. Rich Smith thinks the company's track record deserves your attention. Chuck Saletta, meanwhile, thinks the road back is going to be bumpy.

Does Dell belong in your portfolio? That's what this week's Duel is all about.

Duel on!


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