Microsoft now allows Russians to download Windows legally

On Microsoft’s Russian site, it became again possible to download the Windows operating system legally, although the company suspended the sale of its products in the Russian Federation in the spring. This news was noticed by Russian media and social network users.

Now users from the Russian Federation can download and install Windows 11, 10, Windows 8.1., and Windows 7. Previously, the OS image download page was only available when using a VPN. Now loading Windows from there can be completed via a custom setup assistant.

Why is it important

Microsoft has never completely stopped working in the Russian Federation. Although already on March 4, Microsoft announced the suspension of sales of its products in Russia. The company stated it be “horrified, angered, and saddened by the images and news coming from the war in Ukraine and condemns this unjustified, unprovoked, and unlawful invasion by Russia.”

However, Microsoft’s president, Brad Smith wrote in a letter to Volodymyr Zelenskyi dated March 14, that the company would continue to work with unsanctioned Russian companies, including medical and educational institutions.

“Depriving these institutions of software updates and services could put at risk the health and safety of innocent civilians, including children and the elderly,”

Smith said.

Later, the Russian media reported that the Microsoft 365 office package, which had not been available since the end of March, reappeared in the assortment of local stores.

There was good news as well. For example, in June, Microsoft closed the Xbox office in Russia. At the same time, the company decided to reduce its Russian office by 400 people. And in November, Microsoft announced that it would provide $100 million in aid to Ukraine. This means that government institutions, critical infrastructure, and other sectors in Ukraine can continue to use their digital infrastructure and serve citizens through the Microsoft Cloud.