Microsoft’s security team will help third-party developers of Windows applications and add-ons find and fix bugs in their software, the company said.
The program, dubbed Microsoft Vulnerability Research (MSVR), is a formalization of things the company currently does, not a brand-new initiative, said Andrew Cushman, the company's director of security response and outreach, from the Black Hat security conference.
Microsoft has, at times, gone public with work it's done in collaboration with other software vendors. One of the most recent examples was in May and June, when Microsoft worked with Apple Inc. on flaws in both its own Internet Explorer browser and Apple's Safari. Then, however, Microsoft took shots at its rival, telling users in one of its security advisories that they should stop using Apple's browser until it was fixed.
Earlier this year, Microsoft helped out Yahoo Inc. by issuing a "kill bit" update through its Windows Update service that disabled a buggy ActiveX control installed by Yahoo on PCs that played tunes purchased from its now-defunct online music store.