Microsoft lets EU peer under the bonnet

automobile-mechanicsIn a spirit of openness the software giant Microsoft has let the EU crack open the bonnet of its Windows software and have a look at the source code.

The big idea is to assure European governments that Microsoft products do not contain any backdoors which will allow US spooks to spy on their allies.

A transparency centre has been set up which will give governments the chance to review and assess the source code of Microsoft enterprise products and to access important security information about threats and vulnerabilities in a secure environment.

Writing in his blog, Matt Thomlinson, Vice President of Microsoft Security in a blog post said that Microsoft wanted to continue building trust with governments around the world.

“Today’s opening in Brussels will give governments in Europe, the Middle East and Africa a convenient location to experience our commitment to transparency and delivering products and services that are secure by principle and by design,” said Thomlinson.

National governments and international organizations that are part of the program can in principle inspect the source code of a list of 10 core products including Windows 8.1, 7 and Vista.

Thomlinson said that they can also get access to the source code of various versions of Windows Server and Office, as well as instant messaging client Lync, SharePoint 2010 and versions of Windows Embedded, according to Microsoft.

Currently there are 42 different agencies from 23 different national governments and international organizations who take part in GSP. In Europe, participants include the governments of the U.K., Austria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and Sweden as well as organisations including the European Commission, the spokeswoman said.

Microsoft plans to expand the range of products included in these programs and to open other centres in Europe, the Americas, and Asia.