Microsoft Transparency Centers were announced in 2013 as part of a number of programs designed to increase trust in Microsoft’s offerings. For government customers, our work in the area of transparency is particularly critical as they want to know with a high level of assurance that our products are engineered to withstand the security threats they see every day. In fact, having this assurance often helps them determine whether they should adopt new technologies that can transform government services and bring the benefits of information technology to their people.
Just like our Microsoft Transparency Centers in North America and Europe, our new facility in Asia enables government IT experts to test and analyze our products closely and gain confidence that our software will stand up to their security needs when deployed broadly. These facilities are designed to provide deep ability to understand the security we deploy, and do so in an environment that ensures our products remain proprietary and protected. Simply put, governments have the ability to review our products and services, both manually and by running tools, but they cannot alter what is delivered to customers. We plan to bring this capability to even more government customers through the addition of other new Microsoft Transparency Centers that will be announced in the coming weeks.
While Microsoft Transparency Centers are relatively new, addressing issues of trust with government customers goes back to 2002 when Bill Gates announced Microsoft’s Government Security Program (GSP). Since then, this program has grown and changed to meet the broader needs of governments in today’s environment, including providing information about the security of our products and services, sharing information about threats and vulnerabilities, and continuing to provide online access to inspect our products, as we have for over a decade. Today almost 70 agencies from almost 40 national governments and international organizations worldwide are part of the GSP and take advantage of tools like Microsoft Transparency Centers. China was one of the earliest adopters of the GSP.
An event to commemorate the opening of the new Microsoft Transparency Center in Beijing is being planned for this fall.