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Moscow abandons Microsoft services as Russia pushes for home-grown tech

Politics at a global scale can get quite complicated on several occasions. All parties paid a cost for Russia’s annexation of Crimea, but Russia has been trying to distance itself from the dependence of the West since then.

Moscow's Mayor Office

Moscow City is ditching Microsoft services, and replacing it with home-grown software made by Russian firms such as the state-run Rostelecom PJSC. The first to go are Microsoft’s Exchange Server and Outlook service on 6,000 computers in the Moscow City.

Once the migration is over – if the system works well enough – Moscow might expand this policy to over 600,000 servers and computers. The authorities might also consider replacing Windows and Microsoft Office with open source alternatives.

Russia’s Minister of Communications and Mass Media, Nikolay Nikiforov said: “We want the money of taxpayers and state-run firms to be primarily spent on local software.” His ministry has managed to produce a list of 2,000 Russian software products that Russian companies could use instead of products from global vendors.

Moscow City has already switched its Cisco Surveillance System technology with local software; Moscow’s regional government and the state-run broadcaster Rossiya Segodnya have also switched their database technology from Oracle to open-source PostgreSQL.

This push for local and open source software comes from Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, who has been urging companies and governments to choose domestic products over foreign, in the wake of security and reliability concerns arising from Russia’s role in global politics.

Back in March, the President also announced that from the second half of 2016, all state-backed companies would have to explain why Russian software does not suit their needs. If they do need to buy foreign software, they would have to consult with a special registry to make sure there are no Russian alternatives for it.

Russia boasts a 3 billion$ software market, while the government entities spend about 310 million$ every year on software products built by foreign companies. Microsoft et al. shouldn’t suffer a big hit from losing the business of Russian government, though the repercussions of it could have a significant effect.

Source: Bloomberg, RT

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