Microsoft Is Halting New Sales To Russia

Microsoft gets part marks from me on this. The good part of this is that Microsoft is halting “many aspects” of its business in the country to honor US, UK and EU sanctions. Here’s why they don’t get a perfect grade from me:

We are announcing today that we will suspend all new sales of Microsoft products and services in Russia.

In addition, we are coordinating closely and working in lockstep with the governments of the United States, the European Union and the United Kingdom, and we are stopping many aspects of our business in Russia in compliance with governmental sanctions decisions.

We believe we are most effective in aiding Ukraine when we take concrete steps in coordination with the decisions being made by these governments and we will take additional steps as this situation continues to evolve.

Now the cynic in me says that this doesn’t go as far as Blackberry’s exit from Russia where they’ve totally cut Russia off. As in no sales, no support, nothing. To be fair, that’s not 100% clear from the blog post. But Microsoft needs to make that clear. Like now. And by they way, what does “stopping many aspects of our business in Russia” mean? They need to clarify that too. Like now.

Also in that blog post was this:

Our single most impactful area of work almost certainly is the protection of Ukraine’s cybersecurity. We continue to work proactively to help cybersecurity officials in Ukraine defend against Russian attacks, including most recently a cyberattack against a major Ukrainian broadcaster.

Since the war began, we have acted against Russian positioning, destructive or disruptive measures against more than 20 Ukrainian government, IT and financial sector organizations. We have also acted against cyberattacks targeting several additional civilian sites. We have publicly raised our concerns that these attacks against civilians violate the Geneva Convention.

Okay. I can be down with that. It would take away a major offensive weapon that the Russians love to use.

Who’s going to be the next company to pull out of Russia? I’m taking bets.

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