Moscow Dumps Microsoft Products And Services, Shacks Up With Domestic Software Providers

Artem Yermolaev, head of information technology for Moscow, confirmed that the city will replace Microsoft’s Exchange Server and Outlook with state-run carrier Rostelecom PJSC on its computers. The software was developed by Russian-based company New Cloud Technologies, and the Russian government hopes to eventually deploy the software to 600,000 computers and servers.

Russian president Vladimir Putin wants his country to reduce its dependence on technology from North America and Europe. The United States halted paid services in 2014 with Russia’s annexation of Crimea, so the Russian government wants to raise taxes on foreign companies in order to bolster domestic companies.

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The Russian government spends roughly 20 billion rubles or $295 million USD a year on foreign software. The government has created a list of nearly 2,000 Russian companies that it believes could and should replace foreign companies. It will also begin to penalize companies and organization that do not switch to Russian-based software. Communications Minister Nikolay Nikiforov remarked, “We want the money of taxpayers and state-run firms to be primarily spent on local software.”

Many Russian entities have already switched to domestic companies. Moscow now gets its surveillance systems from a local group instead of Cisco, while Rossiya Segodnya and Moscow’s regional government switched from Oracle to open-code PostgreSQL software supported by local programmers.

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The Russian government has also butted heads with Google. Russia accused Google of being anti-competitive because when a device maker chooses to install Android, it must also install the Google Play store app and several other Google applications. In addition, device manufacturers are restricted from installing apps and services that compete with Google's core offerings. Google’s appeal this past August failed.