Microsoft chairman Bill Gates today unveiled a scheme to help address security issues for national governments using the firm's software.
Dubbed the Security Cooperation Programme, the initiative provides a way for governments and Microsoft to co-operate in areas including computer incident response and attack mitigation.
According to the firm, the goal is to help governments address threats to national and cyber-security, economic strength and public safety.
The programme launches with support from Canada's Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Chile's Ministry of the Interior, the Norwegian National Security Authority, and the State of Delaware Department of Technology and Information.
Anne McLellan, deputy prime minister and minister of public safety and emergency preparedness for the government of Canada, said: "Prevention of cyber-disruptions and improving our capacity to respond to incidents are critical to securing both our economy and public safety."
As participants, Canada, Chile, Norway and the US will work with Microsoft, exchanging information such as publicly reported vulnerabilities that Microsoft is investigating and data about upcoming software updates.
Participants will also receive security incident metrics and information, together with the latest on Microsoft product security alerts.
"The digital age creates some unique challenges for governments to secure their computing environments," said Gerri Elliott, corporate vice president for the worldwide public sector at Microsoft.
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