Microsoft withdraws Windows 10 and 11 in Russia • The Register

Microsoft has blocked Windows 10 and 11 from being installed in Russia from the company’s official website, Russian state media reported on Sunday.

Users in the country have confirmed that attempts to download Windows 10 result in a 404 error message.

TASS reported that attempts to download a Windows 11 disc image (ISO) were diverted to a Microsoft support contact page. The software does, however, come with a virtual private network (VPN) to disguise a computer’s location – as are many other online resources.

Demand for VPNs reportedly increased by an unprecedented 2,692% in Russia as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter removed access to apps from the location.

In early March, Microsoft announced that it would suspend new sales of Microsoft products and services in the country due to the invasion of Ukraine and “in accordance with government sanctions orders”.

Days later, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov called on the company to do more and block access to its products in the region.

This month, Microsoft announced that it was making substantial cuts to its Russian operations, including cutting more than 400 employees.

Federov regularly called out Big Tech on Twitter for continuing to do business in Russia.

Many – including SAP, Oracle, Dell, Sony Interactive Entertainment, AMD, Intel, Ericsson, etc. – have withdrawn or significantly reduced their operations.

In response, Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened retaliatory sanctions, including “a ban on the export of products or raw materials produced or mined in Russia when delivered to individuals under sanctions, or by individuals under sanctions to other individuals”.

Russia is also preventing the export of millions of tonnes of wheat from Ukraine, an action that EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has condemned as a “true war crime” and an action that militarizes the hunger. ®

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