Russian government looking for Windows OS replacement

Sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine start to bite as the Russian government starts looking for alternatives to Windows operating system (OS).

Russia’s Ministry of Digital Development surveyed the country’s software developers on which OS would be best to run computer programs developed for the government. The move may be a signal Moscow is looking for native alternatives to Windows OS, claims Russia’s business newspaper Kommersant.

Microsoft and many other tech companies suspended operations in Russia after Moscow’s tanks crossed into Ukraine, kickstarting the largest war on the continent in seven decades. In June, Microsoft announced that hundreds of Russia-based employees would be laid off as a result.

Since Microsoft also suspended all new sales of products and services in Russia, that might leave the country’s government deprived of crucial software and security updates in the long term. According to Kommersant, the Russian government is determined to force developers to adapt their software to a local OS that doesn’t rely on software updates from the West.

Three Linux-based systems, Astra Linux, ALT OS, and Red OS, were ranked at the top by software developers who took part in the government survey. One way the government could entice companies to develop software for native platforms is a priority in procurement and tax breaks.

Russia invaded Ukraine in late February. According to the United Nations, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has created the ‘fastest-growing refugee crisis in Europe since the Second World War.’

Witness testimonies from Ukrainian towns Russian forces have occupied point to severe human rights violations and targeted lethal attacks against civilians. Reports of ‘gross and systematic violations and abuses of human rights got Russia suspended from the UN Human Rights Council in April.

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