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Microsoft blocks Windows downloads in Russia

After Microsoft withdrew its company and employees from Russia, the company appears to be imposing further sanctions. For a few days, it is not possible for Russian citizens to download Windows 10 or Windows 11. Such as the Russian news agency TASS reports, they cannot download software of the two operating systems that can no longer be opened without further ado.

When users from Russia try to download ISO files or the Media Creation Tool, they get the classic error message: “404 – File or folder not found”. Like many digital offerings in Russia, downloads of Windows 10 and Windows 11 now require a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to bypass the block.

The official statement is absent

Since Microsoft has not yet officially responded to the situation, it is unclear whether the blockade was set up by the Redmond or the Russian government. It is quite conceivable that Microsoft itself has decided to ban it because the company is blocking the sale of Windows 10 and Windows 11 licenses in Russia in the wake of the Ukraine crisis. The distribution of possible illegal copies could at least partly be reduced.

As early as March 2022, Microsoft decided to stop selling all products in Russia and only honor existing contracts until they expire. The local offices were maintained at this time, but with several layoffs. It wasn’t until early June that it became known that the Redmond-based company had decided to give up the site completely and lay off more than 400 employees. Given that Microsoft does not have its own data centers in Russia, the pullout seems relatively easy.

Mark Goodman

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