In a word: Microsoft appears to be preventing people in Russia from downloading its popular operating system, although one can easily circumvent the restriction by using a VPN service. It will be interesting to see if this is enough to push users to switch to Linux.
Users in Russia are currently unable to download Windows 10 and 11 ISOs and installation tools from Microsoft’s servers. People first started noticing the problem over the weekend.
If someone with a Russian IP address tries to download Windows ISO files directly from Microsoft’s website, they get a message that there was a problem with their request.
Attempting to download Windows Update Assistant, Windows Media Creation Tool or Windows 11 Setup Assistant also does not work, users are redirected to a web page with an error message .
Additional validation: https://t.co/ROJawaNGS3
However, it’s unclear if this is intentional or just a server error.
— Catalin Cimpanu (@campuscodi) June 19, 2022
Some people in Russia have reported that they can download the Windows 11 Media Creation Tool. However, it crashes on startup, giving error 0x80072F8F-0x20000.
Users claim that using a VPN service eliminates these error messages, allowing them to download the files. Ironically, Russia’s strict censorship laws block many VPN providers from operating in the country.
Microsoft hasn’t released a statement on this yet, so it’s unclear if this is just a server error or a deliberate decision the company made to protest the invasion. of Ukraine by Russia.
In March, Microsoft halted all new sales in the country, joining dozens of Western companies taking similar action. Earlier this month, the company announced it was ending operations in Russia, resulting in the layoff of more than 400 employees.