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MS now issuing security advisories about third-party Windows bugs

New caretaking role for the ecosystem

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Microsoft has expanded its vulnerability disclosure program to include security bulletins about third-party Windows software as well as its own applications.

The first bulletins, released last weekend, cover two flaws in Google Chrome and one in Opera ll, both of which were patched by December 2010. Microsoft has promised to contact third-party vendors before releasing advisories, but it has reserved the right to issue notification before a patch has been released in cases where a flaw is under active attack.

The software giant is following the same policy for the handling of bugs in third-party software as it does for flaws in its own applications, which it describes as a Coordinated Vulnerability Disclosure policy.

Microsoft has privately supplied security assessment about bugs to third-party suppliers since August 2008. By releasing these advisories in public, it hopes to bolster the security of the Windows ecosystem.

The process might conceivably lead to the release of third-party software updates during the regular Patch Tuesday update cycle but we're not there yet and it's unlikely that Google and Adobe would want to hand over too much control over this process to Redmond. ®

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