Latest in Gear

Image credit: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

Russia is ditching Microsoft because it's an easy target

Anything to make the US seem like a boogeyman.
1344 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

We know that Russia wants to give Microsoft products the boot, but now it's clearer as to why. A senior US intelligence official talking to NBC News not only supports talk of Russia endorsing a plan to purge Microsoft software from the government (starting with Moscow), but explains why. Reportedly, Vladimir Putin and crew are picking on Microsoft because it's an easy target for anti-American sentiment. It's a huge company that rules the tech sector, and it's not hard to persuade Russians that the firm is collaborating with US spies despite evidence to the contrary.

For its part, Microsoft maintains that it doesn't work with "any government" on surveillance, or conduct any espionage itself. Its soon-to-be-acquired job site, LinkedIn, is currently fighting a Russian attempt to block access.

The NBC source doesn't say when (or if) this transition would happen, or say whether other American companies are on notice. Russia has more than a few incentives to kick Windows and Office to the curb, though. National pride is the most conspicuous reason, as domestic software could both foster the local economy and spite the US. However, it's also a matter of control. If Russia makes the software, its government has more power to control that software -- officials would have an easier time blocking content and inserting surveillance tools. While this could reduce the chances of US agencies snooping on Russian activity or launching counterattacks, it would primarily be helpful for quashing political dissent.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
1344 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

The 2019 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

The 2019 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

View
Google rolls out next-gen RCS texting to Android users in the US

Google rolls out next-gen RCS texting to Android users in the US

View
Google’s Curie undersea cable now connects the US and Chile

Google’s Curie undersea cable now connects the US and Chile

View
Rockstar apologizes for buggy ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ PC launch

Rockstar apologizes for buggy ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ PC launch

View
Instagram expands hidden likes test worldwide

Instagram expands hidden likes test worldwide

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr