The software maker plans to announce in Paris on Monday that Office 2003 will be added to its Government Security Program (GSP), launched in early 2003 to address growing security concerns. The program gives government agencies secure access to source code for key Microsoft programs--initially, the current versions of the Windows operating system.
Its stated goals include allowing government IT workers to conduct more thorough security audits and to build custom applications on top of Microsoft products. But the move was also widely seen as an attempt to counter growing government interest in open-source software, which has been given preferential status by numerous government entities.
The program covers more than 60 countries with intellectual property protection deemed adequate by Microsoft, including China and most of Europe.