Curious, when we offered two vendors the opportunity to write a story that would appear prominently in Network World - in their own words - about issues identified by members of the Network World Lab Alliance, both chose instead to stick their heads in the sand.In the publishing business there is no end to vendors banging on the door looking for exposure. They are dying for the attention of you, the buyer, and will go to great lengths to try to make their voices heard.Besides their public relations machines that pump out press releases and user case studies, they come at us with all sorts of ideas, offering to write everything from opinion pieces to technology primers.Curious, then, when we offered two vendors the opportunity to write a story that would appear prominently in Network World - in their own words - about issues identified by members of the Network World Lab Alliance, both chose instead to stick their heads in the sand.In our first Testers Challenge on Nov. 17, we called on vendors\u00a0to stop shipping products that support, out of the box, access and management protocols that aren't secure, such as earlier versions of Secure Shell, SNMP and HTTP.We challenged Cisco to set an example for the industry by changing the practice, offering it 800 words to respond any way it saw fit - to debunk our claim, justify its practice or even talk about how it would address the issue in the future.Remarkably, the company refused. Rather than tell you, the buyer, what it makes of an issue that independent testers of its products have identified as a problem, it chose instead to remain mum, presumably in the hope that this would create less of a ripple. The only response we got was a product manager calling to share a few thoughts for a follow-up story.Microsoft assumed the same self-defensive posture when we challenged the company in our next Testers Challenge in March\u00a0to simplify and streamline the process of patch management.Instead of using the offered space to talk directly to buyers about the issue, a Microsoft security program manager called to say he wasn't hearing the same concerns. We have no way of knowing if that is true, but given the widely acknowledged security problems Microsoft has, wouldn't you think it would relish any opportunity to lay out its vision? The refusal to step to the plate only serves to exacerbate the situation, leaving the impression the company is so guilty it can't even look the buyer in the eye.Moreover, it does you a disservice. Instead of meaningful information you can use, it leaves you second-guessing the players. You deserve better.