Microsoft President and Vice Chair Brad Smith announced today via blog post that Microsoft would be suspending “all new sales of Microsoft products and services in Russia” following the country’s “unjustified, unprovoked, and unlawful” invasion of Ukraine. The company didn’t name specific products, but a blanket ban would include Windows and Office software, Surface and Xbox hardware, Azure cloud computing services, and consumer services like OneDrive and Xbox Game Pass.
Microsoft isn’t the first of the big tech companies to formally halt sales in Russia while the country’s invasion of Ukraine continues. Apple halted sales of its products there earlier this week, and Google suspended advertising in Russia yesterday. Multiple tech companies, including Microsoft, have also blocked, demonetized, or deprioritized content from Russian state media outlets like RT and Sputnik. And some game companies have heeded requests from the Ukrainian government to halt sales of their games in Russia while the invasion continues.
Microsoft wrote a separate blog post earlier this week detailing its efforts to stop malware and other cyberattacks against Ukrainian and European targets. Today’s post reiterates the company’s focus on those issues.
“Since the war began, we have acted against Russian positioning [of] destructive or disruptive measures against more than 20 Ukrainian government, IT, and financial sector organizations,” Smith wrote. “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.”
The use of “new sales” in Microsoft’s statement presumably means that current customers will be unaffected, but Microsoft says it is working with the US, EU, and UK governments to comply with sanctions that those governments have placed on Russia since the invasion began.