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Code to Office 2003 Being Made Available to Governments by Microsoft
Code to Office 2003 Being Made Available to Governments by Microsoft

As a continuation of the no-fee, global Government Security Program (GSP) it began in January 2003 to address specific information-technology needs that governments using its operating software might have, Microsoft making the source code for its Office 2003 software available to national governments.

Microsoft will share the underlying software code for its Office program, just as it has been doing with other governments under the GSP, which allows the governments of more than 30 countries to examine the source code of the Windows OS.

In the UK, Dr. Steve Marsh - director of the Central Sponsor for Information Assurance in the Cabinet Office - said: "The release of this source code will help the U.K. Government understand the security implications of the Office productivity suite and aid secure deployment in a wide range of scenarios."

The agreement Microsoft asks each participating government to sign understandably requires them not to divulge the code to third parties.

In an offocial anouncement, Mictosoft said that the GSP "promotes increased communication and collaboration between program participants and Microsoft, providing opportunities to visit Microsoft's U.S. development facilities in Redmond, Wash., and review various aspects of Windows and Office source-code development, testing and deployment processes."

GSP participants also discuss existing and potential projects with Microsoft experts and provide feedback directly to Microsoft staff.

"Access to Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows CE and now Office 2003 source code, along with additional documentation, and training and technical engagements through the GSP, improves governments' trust in the transparency and interoperability of Microsoft products," Microsoft said.

"At Microsoft, we view governments that utilize our software as trusted partners. The addition of Office 2003 to the GSP demonstrates our continued commitment to collaborating with governments all over the world to deliver solutions that address their unique and specific IT needs," said Jonathan Murray, vice president and chief technical officer of Microsoft EMEA.

About Security News Desk
SYS-CON's Security News desk trawls the world of security for news of software, hardware, products, and services that seems likely to be of interest to infosec professionals and summarizes them for easy assimilation by busy IT managers and staff.

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File sharing sites worldwide are doubtless expecting any time soon that the code will leak out of one of these 3o governments...




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