Microsoft last week said it would give governments access to the source code for Office 2003, one of the company's two primary revenue generators, as part of its nearly 2-year-old, no-fee Government Security Program.
The shared source offer, which is similar to a program to share Windows desktop source code, gives national governments and international organizations access to source code and technical information about Office 2003. Microsoft said the British government, one of its most loyal overseas customers, is among the first participants.
The move comes at a time when Microsoft is coming under increasing pressure from open source software, especially OpenOffice. Governments in Germany, Hungary, France, Italy and just last week Iran have either adopted or are seriously considering open source projects.