WSJ.com - Microsoft to Let Governments Access Code for Office 2003 "Under the plan, the Redmond, Wash., company is adding its Office 2003 suite of software applications -- including Word and Excel -- to its Government Security Program, an initiative that since January 2003 has given governments access to the "source code" behind the Windows operating system. The program was the first official move by Microsoft to give governments a peek at the code. China, Russia, the United Kingdom and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are among those that have signed up for the initiative.
The addition of Office to the program comes as Microsoft is trying to tighten relations with governments and dissuade them from adopting Linux and other open-source software, which is made by a loosely knit community of programmers and is built on code that can be freely modified. Advocates of open-source software say that open access to code can produce software that is more secure than commercial software made by Microsoft, Oracle Corp. and others."