Moscow will replace Microsoft software with its native software on computers as a result of President Vladimir Putin's call to curb reliance on foreign technology.
Artem Yermolaev, head of technology for Moscow, said the city will replace Microsoft's Exchange Server and Outlook on a total of 6,000 computers with an email system installed by Rostelecom PJSC, a state-run carrier. The new email software, developed by Russia's New Cloud Technologies, might then be deployed on 600,000 computers and servers.
Authorities are also considering replacing Microsoft's Windows and Office, Yermolaev added. Putin is urging state as well as local firms to use domestic products, amid growing security concerns after US companies shut down paid services in Crimea, following Russia's annexation on 18 March 2014. This move poses a challenge to the likes of Microsoft, SAP SE and Oracle, suggests a Bloomberg report.
German Klimenko, Putin's internet czar, wants to increase taxes on US tech firms in an effort to help Russian rivals such as Yandex NV and mail.ru.
Russian Communications Minister Nikolay Nikiforov said, "We want the money of taxpayers and state-run firms to be primarily spent on local software". From next year, government organisations including the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service, General Prosecutor's Office and Audit Chamber "will be tightening their grip" on state institutions that are not using domestic software, he added.
Nikiforov estimated that government organisations spend about 20bn rubles ($295m, £227m) on foreign software yearly. His ministry has produced a list of 2,000 Russian software products for the use of state-run companies. Moscow has already switched from Cisco Systems for city surveillance cameras to local software, said Yermolaev.