Microsoft Stops Selling Products in Russia

Microsoft logo on New York store buiding.
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Microsoft is the latest tech company to stop selling its goods and services in Russia, as the country's war on Ukraine continues. Brad Smith, president and vice-chair of the company, made the announcement in a blog post on Friday morning.

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

While Microsoft didn't detail the specific products and services it is stopping, the company sells Windows PCs, its own Surface devices, Xbox game consoles and Azure cloud services around the globe. It also specifically called out "new" sales, suggesting existing subscriptions are unaffected, but it didn't go into any further detail. Microsoft told Tom's Hardware it has nothing to share beyond the blog post, regarding the language or which products are affected.

This is the company's first major update on the war in Ukraine since Monday, when Smith penned a post describing how Microsoft could use its technologies in cooperation with the Ukrainian, United States and European governments, as well as NATO and the United Nations, to help protect against cyberattacks and prevent the spread of state-sponsored disinformation.  

Microsoft had previously opted not to display RT or Sputnik content on Microsoft Start or in order to stop spreading Russian state-sponsored media. It also kicked RT's news apps from the Microsoft Store on Windows and made changes to the Bing search engine's algorithm to make them harder to find unless a user was specifically looking for those sources.

The company said that on Feb. 24, its Threat Intelligence Center discovered "a new round of offensive and destructive cyberattacks directed against Ukraine's digital infrastructure," and that within three hours, signatures from those exploits were added into Defender.

Microsoft is far from the first tech company to stop doing business with Russia since the country invaded Ukraine. Some search engines and social media sites, like Google, Twitter and Meta's Facebook, have also demoted or quarantined Russian media in search results. AMD and Intel have both stopped selling processors in Russia in compliance with United States sanctions. Some video game companies, like CD Projekt Red, have stopped selling their games and services in Russia.

Andrew E. Freedman

Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Threads @FreedmanAE and Mastodon

  • 2Be_or_Not2Be
    Not that they were selling a lot in Russia anyway. Between China and Russia, I don't know who uses pirated/cracked software more. I don't think Surface h/w was selling much at all there, but Xbox & Azure might have gotten some customers there.
  • husker
    I wonder how many business in Russia are using cloud infrastructure. That could be a big economic problem if the cloud outside of Russia were cut off to them.
  • pjmelect
    I think that Microsoft is doing Russia favour by not selling them Windows 11.