Microsoft blocks installation of Windows 10 and 11 in Russia from the company’s official website Tech companies continue to increase penalties

Microsoft blocks installation of Windows 10 and 11 in Russia from the company’s official website Tech companies continue to increase penalties

Microsoft has blocked the installation of Windows 10 and 11 in Russia from the company’s official website, Russian state media reported on Sunday. Users in the country have confirmed that attempts to download Windows 10 result in a 404 error message.

Tass (acronym of Telegrafnoe aguentstvo Sovietskovo Suza, one of Russia’s leading news agencies, along with Rossia Segodnia and Interfax) reported that attempts to download a Windows 11 disc image (ISO) were diverted to a Microsoft support contact page. The software is however available with a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to conceal a computer’s location – as are many other online resources:

Attempts to install Windows 11 and Windows 10 from the Microsoft website fail. The TASS correspondent was convinced of this.

An error occurs when trying to download a Windows 11 disc image (ISO) from the company’s website. “Error: There was a problem with your request. For assistance, visit the contact Microsoft support page,” the message reads. However, if you are using a VPN, the download occurs.

If you try to download Windows 10, an error also appears: “404 – File or directory not found”. With a VPN connection, the download takes place.

According to statistics from Top10VPN, which regularly publishes data on the use of virtual private networks (VPN) in the world, the demand for VPNs has increased by an unprecedented 2692% in Russia, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter having removed access to apps from location:

Demand for VPNs resurfaced in Russia over the weekend of March 12-13, with Russian authorities banning Instagram in retaliation to parent company Meta for allowing calls for violence against the Russian military to remain on its platforms.

Demand for VPN services peaked at 2,692% on March 14 compared to average daily demand the week before the invasion of Ukraine. This latest peak follows three days of sustained interest. As of March 31, VPN demand had eased but remained very high at 243% above normal, while average daily VPN demand between March 15 and March 31 was 617% above normal.

The official ban on Facebook and Twitter on March 4 had previously fueled demand for VPN services, sending it more than 1,000% above baseline for two consecutive days.

Restrictions on Facebook and Twitter had begun the weekend of February 26-27 with internet speeds when accessing these platforms so severely limited as to render them unusable, prompting Russians to increasingly turn to the services vpn. Demand for VPNs increased during this week and on March 3 was over 750% above the benchmark

Our analysis of Russia’s Central Register of Blocked Sites shows that the Kremlin has blocked more than 1,000 war-related sites since the invasion, including the Russian-language sites of BBC News, Deutsche Welle and Voice of America.

Russian authorities confirmed on March 15 that they had attempted to block VPN traffic and would continue to do so.

In early March, Microsoft announced that it would suspend new sales of Microsoft products and services in the country due to the invasion of Ukraine and in accordance with government sanctions orders.

A few days later, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov called on the company to do more and block access to its products in the region: During 10 days of war, Russia fired more than 400 cruise missiles at the Ukraine – kindergartens, hospitals and residential buildings were destroyed. Microsoft, Bill Gates, Satya Nadella, help us stop this – block Azure, Skype, GitHub access from Russia.

This month, Microsoft announced that it was making substantial cuts to its business in Russia, including cutting more than 400 jobs in Russia.

Federov has regularly urged big tech companies on Twitter to stop doing business in Russia. Many including SAP, Oracle, Dell, Sony Interactive Entertainment, AMD, Intel, Ericsson, etc. withdrew or drastically reduced their operations.

Here is an overview of what has happened in the computer sphere since February 24th.

The following companies have stopped ads or removed the ability to mount them in Russia:

  • February 25: Meta banned Russian state media from broadcasting advertisements or monetizing worldwide;
  • February 25: Twitter temporarily halted ads in Ukraine and Russia to highlight “critical public safety information”;
  • March 2: Snap paused ads on the Snapchat app in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine;
  • 3rd of March : Alphabet suspended all advertising in Russia, covering search, YouTube and publishing partners;
  • March 7: Apple suspended App Store ads in Russia;
  • March 10 : Google Play and YouTube have suspended editing features and payment services in Russia;
  • March 23: Google said he would not let YouTube channels, websites or apps sell war-rejecting ads.

Some companies have restricted or labeled Russian state news channels, including RT and Sputnik, and Russian disinformation, or terminated links with Russian search engines:

  • February 28: Roku removed RT from its channel store;
  • February 28: TikTok barred state-backed news organizations from accessing their accounts;
  • 1st of March : Meta restricted access to Russian state media RT and Sputnik in the EU;
  • 1st of March : DuckDuckGo paused its relationship with Russian search engine Yandex;
  • March 2: Reddit banned links to Russian state-sponsored media on its entire site;
  • 3rd of March : Spotify removed all content from Sputnik and RT;
  • March 4: Telegram banned Russian state media following pressure from Europe to remove the channels;
  • 8 March : instagram downgraded Russian state media posts on its feeds, lowering their priority in the Stories queue and giving people a warning before they re-share content from state-controlled media ;
  • March 10 : DuckDuckGo decided to declassify information from sites associated with the Russian state;
  • March 11 : Youtube blocked access to channels associated with Russian state media worldwide.

The following companies have ceased sales in Russia:

  • 1st of March : Apple suddenly Russia of “all product sales”;
  • 3rd of March : CD Project Groupdeveloper of The Witcher games, has halted all sales of its products in Russia and Belarus;
  • March 4: Samsung halted product shipments to Russia, suspending exports of products such as chips, smartphones and consumer electronics;
  • March 4: Microsoft suspended new sales of products and services in Russia;
  • March 4: Activision Blizzard stopped new sales of its games in Russia;
  • March 5: Epic Games announced that it is “stopping trade” in Russia;
  • March 9: sony suspended sales of software and hardware in Russia.

The following companies have suspended their activities in Russia, stopped taking on new customers there or cut off their services to Russia:

  • February 28: netflix said it would not add any Russian channels to its service;
  • 1st of March : Mastercard and Visa blocked Russian banks from accessing their networks;
  • 3rd of March : Spotify closed its office in Russia for an indefinite period;
  • 3rd of March : PayPal suspended its services in Russia, also affecting its money transfer service Xoom ;
  • March 4: Amazon Web Services (AWS) stopped accepting new customers in Russia;
  • March 4: Cogent Communicationsa US-based internet service provider, discontinued services to Russian customers;
  • March 6: TikTok suspended live streams and uploads of new content in Russia;
  • March 6: netflix completely suspending its services in Russia;
  • March 7: Enterprise Technology Companies EPAM Systems and Luxoft announced that they were cutting their ties with Russia;
  • March 7: WeWork ceased its activities in Russia, halting its expansion plans and divesting itself from its operations in the region;
  • March 9: Lumena US-based internet service provider, ceased operations in Russia;
  • March 9: sony halted Playstation Store operations in the country;
  • March 9: Bumble ceased operations in Russia and removed its apps from Apple and Google stores in the country;
  • March 9: Amazon stopped shipping products from its retail site and restricted access AmazonPrime in Russia ;
  • March 16: Qualcomm said it would stop selling products to Russian companies;
  • March 25: Spotify announced that he would “completely suspend” his service in Russia;
  • April 5: Intel suspended all business operations in Russia.

Other companies such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), Nvidia, German SAP, Oracle, Nokia IBM, Cisco are also part of the lot. From the Russians’ point of view, the fact that TSMC has also joined the ban is likely to weigh even more heavily. Indeed, Russian semiconductor companies such as Baikal, MCST, Yadro and STC Module design their own chips, but have them produced by the Taiwanese contract manufacturer.

In response, Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened retaliatory sanctions, including a ban on the export of products or raw materials produced or mined in Russia when delivered to individuals under sanctions, or by individuals under sanctions of other individuals.

Russia is also preventing the export of millions of tonnes of wheat from Ukraine, an action that EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has condemned as a “true war crime aimed at militarizing hunger”.

Sources: Tass, Top10VPN

See as well :

Putin wants Microsoft software removed from Russia for fear it will be used by the US to infiltrate Russian systems
Russia would like to replace software from Microsoft, IBM and Oracle with open source solutions, it cites security risks
The Russian army is about to replace Windows with Astra Linux on its systems, the sovereign OS, a new symbol of technological independence?

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