Russia wants nothing to do with Microsoft’s technology

No country for America.
No country for America.
Image: Sputnik/Kremlin/Alexei Nikolsky via Reuters
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The city of Moscow is getting rid of Microsoft.

Russia’s capital is ditching Microsoft’s technology after president Vladimir Putin urged state officials and local companies to reduce their reliance on foreign technology. As a result, it is replacing Microsoft Exchange and Outlook on 6,000 computers with email systems developed by state-run carrier Rostelecom PJSC, reports Bloomberg. It may also consider installing software developed by Russia’s New Cloud Technologies to replace Microsoft Windows and Office on nearly 600,000 devices.

Russia began pushing for technological self-sufficiency after the EU and US enacted sanctions against the country for its illegal annexation of Crimea in September 2014. While both countries are large enough to survive without the other, there’s one obvious loser here: Silicon Valley.

The sanctions forced many western companies to sever ties with major corporations in Russia. That’s cutting companies like Microsoft and Oracle out of the country’s domestic software market, which had a value of $3 billion in 2015. In addition, Putin’s internet czar German Klimenko proposed heavy taxes, including 18% on app store purchases, for US technology firms, such as Apple and Google.

America is just as unwelcoming to Russia. At the US presidential debate on Sept. 26, Hillary Clinton held Russia responsible for an increasing number of cyber attacks on the US, including the July hack of the Democratic National Committee. “We are not going to sit idly by and permit state actors to go after our information,” she said. “And the Russians need to understand that.”