From Microsoft With Love: Code For Russia

Updated: Jan 22 2003, 05:30am hrs
Russia has become the first nation to get secret source codes of Windows operating system from the US computer giant Microsoft for developing secure software for sensitive government requirements like fighting terrorism.

This reflects Russias changed relationship with the West and its intensive interaction with them in combating the threat of international terrorism, Microsoft chief in Russia and CIS Olga Dergunova said.

Microsoft had announced to make the underlying code for its Windows operating system available to several governments and governmental agencies and Russia was the first country to sign the software giants government security program. The secret codes of the Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows CE and Windows Server 2003, due for release in April, were provided to the Russias federal IT centre Atlas under an agreement signed by Microsoft with the Russia and NATO to allow them to review the underlying programming instructions that have been so far guarded as secret intellectual property. It also will give them the technical data to develop their own secure applications to work atop Windows and evaluate the softwares ability to withstand attacks.

Soon after assuming office, President Vladimir Putin had issued a directive in February 2000 banning use of Windows in sensitive government departments after Russian experts found bugs in the system allowing its US rival - National Security Agency to peep inside any computer running on it.