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As Russia’s reprehensible invasion of Ukraine continues, tech companies continue to take a stance by limiting or stopping their products in Russia. For example, Microsoft said this month it would scale down operations in the country after previously banning content, Minecraft, and thwarting Russian-backed cyberattacks.

In its latest move, Microsoft seems to have also stopped people in Russia from being able to download Windows 11 and Windows 10 ISOs. Furthermore, the Redmond giant has also now stopped Windows Insiders in Russia from installing new preview builds.

While the company has not officially taken this stance, there are enough reports from Russian users to suggest Microsoft is taking a hard line on Windows. This could be just the start too as there is a chance Microsoft will eventually shut down the whole Windows Update system in Russia.

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It is worth noting that users report using a VPN works for installing ISOs and also for getting Insider preview builds.

Russian Stance

Microsoft has said it will reduce its presence in Russia, meaning over 400 people are laid off. Following the invasion of Ukraine, major brands ranging from Microsoft to Coca-Cola have stopped sales in Russia. Google chose its own punishment in Russia, including suspending all payments on Google Play Store.

Authorities in Russia have also said they will not allow tech companies to punish the country, and threaten seizures if measures continue.

“We need to act decisively with those [companies] who are going to close their production,” said Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this year. “It is necessary, then … to introduce external management and then transfer these enterprises to those who want to work.”

Tip of the day: Did you know that your data and privacy might be at risk if you run Windows without encryption? A bootable USB with a live-linux distribution is often just enough to gain access to all of your files.

If you want to change that, check out our detailed BitLocker guide where we show you how to turn on encryption for your system disk or any other drive you might be using in your computer.

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