Microsoft shares code with Eastern Europe

Microsoft expanded its Shared Source Initiative to seven Eastern European countries on Monday.

Microsoft has expanded its Shared Source Initiative (SSI) to seven countries in Eastern Europe, allowing customers, partners and academic institutions in the region to peek at some of its source code, it said Monday.

The SSI program is used by businesses and institutions that want to see the internal workings of some Microsoft products to help them build customized applications, or to check the security of their systems. Begun in 2001, the program now covers 17 code-sharing programs for technologies such as Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003, Windows CE .NET, and components of Visual Studio .NET, among others.

The addition of Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Slovakia and Slovenia to the SSI program comes as Microsoft and other technology vendors are increasing their focus on Eastern Europe. The seven new SSI countries joined the European Union (E.U.) in May last year, along with Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, which already have access to some Microsoft shared source licensing programs.

E.U. membership requires countries to adopt certain technology initiatives such as electronic government and education, and also gives them access to E.U. funds to implement them.

Some businesses in the region are also ramping up their IT investments to become more competitive. Along with governments, eligible enterprises, original equipment manufacturers, systems integrators, and technology professionals will have access to the SSI program, Microsoft said.

Eastern Europe has been the fastest growing market for Microsoft for the last four years. Reflecting its success in the region, the company last month appointed its head of Eastern European operations, Jan Muehlfeit, as its new public sector leader for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

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