So what if Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has lost a few high-profile people? Start-ups may depend on top talent to get off the ground, but established giants depend more on their legions of "ordinary" employees to deliver daily results.

No company built around a superstar has staying power. Lee Iacocca may have rescued Chrysler from the brink of disaster, but in the absence of sustained organization-level improvements, the company resumed its descent. It eventually took a suitor to step in and breathe some semblance of life into the firm, creating DaimlerChrysler (NYSE:DCX) in the process. Even then, it's still losing the quality reputation wars to the likes of Honda (NYSE:HMC). As Honda's history illustrates, paying attention to the ordinary employees is critical. Properly motivated, empowered ordinary employees do far more to determine the long-run fate of a business than a handful of superstars ever will.

As for Microsoft's security vulnerabilities, all large-scale software has bugs. Consider Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) recent Safari exploit and Novell's (NASDAQ:NOVL) routine Linux security advisories. That so many Microsoft bugs are reported is a testament to its gigantic size and installed user base. If Microsoft's security problems were really that crippling, it wouldn't have stayed on top as long as it has.

Plus, although Vista has been delayed, to quote my dueling partner Tim Beyers, "Microsoft has become famous for postponing release dates." It's not like this is anything new or unexpected. With infrastructure-level replacement software, what matters isn't the ship date, but whether or not the required feature set and quality are solid enough to justify the upgrade. It's much better to be late and working than on time and dysfunctional. It's this type of rational, long-term thinking that made Microsoft an ideal Motley Fool Inside Value selection.

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Think you're done with the Duel? You're not! Go back and read the other three arguments, and then vote for a winner.

At the time of publication, Fool contributor and Inside Value team member Chuck Saletta owned shares of Microsoft. The Fool has a disclosure policy.