The Russian government is pushing for a plan to remove all foreign software from government offices and state-run companies. Russian President Vladimir Putin is said to be focused on replacing Microsoft software as a casualty of his ongoing clash against the United States.
According to technology news site, Engadget, a senior US intelligence official has told NBC News that the Kremlin is supporting a plan to eliminate all foreign software in favor of domestic alternatives in each and every government controlled institution. NBC News reported that the plan is to begin with the replacement of Microsoft products with Russian software for all government offices in Moscow. The intelligence official also told NBC News that President Putin is targeting Microsoft because the American firm is one of the most well known information technology companies in Russia, so it is easy to convince most Russians that Microsoft is collaborating with American spy agencies.
The Russian government is also planning to ban LinkedIn, the business and employment-oriented social networking site that is in the process of being purchased by Microsoft. LinkedIn has made an appeal on the injunction and is expected to receive the decision from Russian authorities by November 10. The purchase of LinkedIn, if finalized, would currently be the largest acquisition Microsoft has ever completed. Microsoft announced previously on June 13 that it would acquire LinkedIn for $26.2 billion.
As reported before by CNN, President Putin has championed the use of local software for some time, especially since sanctions were imposed in 2014 by the West on Russia for its part in the conflict in the Ukraine. Putin has already said that software developed in Russia is safer and more reliable than imported software. The government has also passed a decree that requires state and municipal entities to prioritize the use of domestic Russian software. The decree is in line with the strategy of the Russian government to replace foreign imports with local products.