Russian users could no longer download Windows 10 and Windows 11 as the company continues its campaign against Western technology.
Users who tried to download ISOs of the (*10*) latest iterations of Windows received "404 error messages," according to BleepingComputer (opens in a new tab).
Apparently, Russian users can still download Windows 11 Media Creation Tool, but it throws error “0x80072F8F-0x20000” according to (*10*) website sources.
What's going on?
So far it is not clear if these download problems are a technical error on the part of Microsoft or an intentional decision.
The news comes as Microsoft is rapidly pulling out of the country, the company has suspended (*10*) new sales of its products and services, joining the likes of Apple, Dell, Ericsson and Nokia.
Is there any way to avoid this?
Users located in Russia can still download (*10*) latest versions of Windows if they use a virtual private network or VPN to hide their location.
Whether or not this is intentional action on Microsoft's part, the company has publicly taken a clearly pro-Ukrainian stance.
Microsoft says it is working closely with cybersecurity officials in Ukraine to help defend the country's government and its infrastructure from Russian cyberattacks and says it helped repel a cyberattack launched against a major Ukrainian broadcaster.
Fortunately for Russian Windows users, the US government is reported to have invested heavily in supporting the VPN space in the country.
VPN developers like nthLink, Psiphon and Lantern have seen their funding rise rapidly as Russians increasingly turn to (*10*) VPNs to bypass (*10*) increasingly onerous online restrictions imposed by their government .
Although the Russian government has taken a tough stance on VPN use, that hasn't stopped the average user from turning to (*10*) tools.
Apparently, the number of VPN users in Russia has skyrocketed since the country invaded Ukraine in late February 2022, with (*11*) daily (*10*) top 10 VPN users going from around 15,000 in mid-475,000. from February to XNUMX in March.