Microsoft Sells Office Secrets To UK Government

by CXOtoday Staff    Sep 20, 2004

Microsoft has released the source code of its closely guarded Intellectual Property that raked in moolah by the millions — MS Office 2003 — as part of its new Government Security Program (GSP). The first one to bite the bait is the British government.

The government shared source license for Office gives qualifying national governments and international organizations access to source code and technical information about Office 2003.

The addition of the Office 2003 source code to the GSP and the Microsoft Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas license is a part of Microsoft’s ongoing effort to address data exchange and integration needs of governments throughout the world. In November 2003, customers were able to acquire deeper information exchange and interoperability benefits when Microsoft made broadly available a royalty-free license for the Microsoft Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas and accompanying documentation.

“Microsoft’s collaborative approach and source-code access have demonstrated a deeper level of commitment to our ongoing collaboration, 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,” said Dr. Steve Marsh, director of the Central Sponsor for Information Assurance in the Cabinet Office.

One of the primary reasons for releasing this code is so that governments can benefit from more readily available data identification within documents, ease of report generation and document assembly from existing content, and extraction of existing data for automated processing.

The GSP was introduced in January 2003 as an extension of the Microsoft Shared Source Initiative. It is a no-fee global program tailored to address the specific information technology requirements of governments.