China looks through the Windows

Software giant Microsoft has agreed to show China's government the underlying source code for its Windows software in an attempt to assuage official concerns about the integrity of its computer operating systems.

The announcement was made Friday during a visit to Beijing by company Chairman Bill Gates, who said Microsoft was intent on providing the "maximum level of cooperation" in assuring governments of network security.

China follows NATO, Russia and the Britain in signing the Government Security Program with Microsoft. Gates said the agreement gives governments controlled access to the entire Windows source code, including all improvements and new versions of Windows.

He said access to the code will let governments evaluate for themselves the security of the Windows platform. It also will give them the technical data they need to develop their own secure applications to work atop Windows. Gates said the agreement with China had been under discussion for several months. Microsoft is in talks with 30 other governments to sign the agreement, the company said.

Gates met earlier in the day with Chinese President Jiang Zemin and said both men were "very optimistic about the view ahead" for technology.

News source: CNN

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