Microsoft to expand source-code sharing program

When you're a company under the watchful eye of governments around the globe for being the 800-pound gorilla of the computer industry, it helps to play nice.

That's just what &to=http://' target=_blank>Microsoft Corp. is doing, with a friendly plan to expand its source-code sharing program with governments by adding its Office 2003 software to the mix. The move, however, is more importantly part of Microsoft's game plan to turn government officials away from the rising tide of open-source software.

Officials in Brazil, Germany and other spots are embracing freely shared software as a cheaper option to the Windows operating system. Microsoft's operating system still powers more than 90 percent of the worlds' computers, but the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant is taking the open-source threat seriously, reports Washington Post.

"At Microsoft, we view governments that utilize our software as trusted partners. The addition of Office 2003 to the GSP demonstrates our continued commitment to collaborating with governments all over the world to deliver solutions that address their unique and specific IT needs," said Jonathan Murray, vice president and CTO of Microsoft Europe, &to=http://' target=_blank>Middle East and Africa (EMEA), in a statement.

The move could potentially be seen as part of its effort to stave off competition from open source upstarts like OpenOffice that have been winning governments over.

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