"You cannot hope to bribe or twist thank God! The British journalist. But, seeing what the man will do unbribed, there's no occasion to." - Humbert Wolfe
The Middleware Company (TMC) has responded to criticism of a Java vs .NET benchmark it published recently, and admits setup costs were met by Microsoft.
"Microsoft provided the lab, which was located in Seattle, funded the setup costs, and reimbursed us for expenses, including travel expenses," explain the authors in an FAQ.
Payola research may be the world's second oldest profession, but TMC insists that its tests couldn't have carried out the tests without Microsoft's input:-
"Without permission and some support from Microsoft, we would not have been able to conduct the experiment." The benchmarks cost TMC far more than it gained from Microsoft it adds.
This subject has drawn an extraordinary amount of feedback, which we'll post later today.
TMC is an authoritative source of Enterprise Java information, and has authored two books on EJB. It hosts the popular TheServerside.com community.
Rickard Öberg in his analysis of the benchmark, claimed that the study was bought and paid for by Microsoft, but doesn't cite his sources. Others point to the fact that TMC was acquired by the larger consulting group Precise, as if this provides some sort of smoking pistol. It doesn't.
For now, TMC is looking for input to rerun the tests.
"TSS decided to post this news item, since TSS' commitment to the members of this web site is to publish all the facts, even if those facts are sometimes not positive about J2EE, so that we as a community can improve. As far as whether you trust us or not, I think I will leave that up to the community to decide."
If journalists didn't accept freebies, there would be very few travel features indeed, and almost certainly no technology coverage outside the United States. But as anyone who's attended a press conference knows, it's socially acceptable for journalists to applaud vendors, while the most rigorous questions typically come from the European contingent, which has been flown over for the occasion.
The analyst community doesn't go to the absurd lengths of the US press in drawing imaginary conflicts of interest rules for itself that are more self-serving - perpetuating the craft's view of itself here as a sacred priesthood - than practical.
The executive editor of the Washington Post recently declared that to avoid accusations of bias, he had not voted since 1984. But the Post like the Times has been somewhat less than forthright in describing 2000 Election for what it was - a private coup d'etat - and that's very much how the rest of the world sees it.
The most insidious form of censorship is not payola, but self-censorship.®