Microsoft is leaving Russia – what will happen to Windows and Russian PCs after that

Microsoft is gradually leaving Russia, which means users can completely get rid of its products and services. We will tell you what will happen to Windows and Russian computers after the company leaves the country.

How will Microsoft fare in Russia in 2022?

Microsoft products are very popular among Russian users. More than 85% of all computers and laptops in the country run different versions of Windows. But the support of the most popular OS in Russia is far from the only problem associated with the company’s release. Another side of it is the document flow, which connects most organizations in the country and their work processes.

Microsoft produces a wide range of different software products: office programs (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), OneDrive cloud storage, the Outlook email client, Skype and many other tools that are tightly integrated into the life of almost any resident of Russia. They are used not only for everyday, but also for work needs in any field of activity.

In March 2022, Microsoft suspended sales of its products and services in the country, and then announced its intention to significantly reduce its presence in Russia. By the summer, the company stopped cooperation with a number of organizations, and also closed several offices and laid off a significant number of employees. And although it is a gradual release, users have already faced its consequences. On June 18, Microsoft disabled the ability to download Windows 10 and 11 images from the company’s official website. This means that installing an OS from Microsoft on a computer where it was not previously installed, or updating Windows to an earlier/later version will not work. When trying to download an image, users encounter an error message.

To the question of why Russians lost the ability to download Microsoft products, the company’s support service answered that regional restrictions came into effect. Downloading licensed Windows images is currently unavailable in Russia and Belarus. However, with the VPN enabled, this problem is still solvable – downloads are error-free.

And although users can no longer purchase and download Windows, the company does not stop supporting and updating products for which a license has already been purchased. Residents of Russia can still use purchased Microsoft products and receive OS updates in a timely manner.

How will the departure of Microsoft affect Russian users?

The gradual termination of Microsoft’s activities in Russia divided the opinions of experts. Many of them are confident that the company will continue to support and update the products they have already purchased. Others believe that sooner or later Microsoft will completely deprive Russian users of both the OS and other software products, so people will have to switch to something else.

And while updates are still available and support is still active, there is a growing demand for pirated versions of Microsoft products in Russia. According to the Google Trends service, the number of requests to Google regarding the installation of pirated Windows operating systems has increased several times over the past few months.

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