[MOSCOW] Moscow city government will replace Microsoft Corp programs on thousands of computers with Russian software after President Vladimir Putin urged the country's authorities to reduce dependence on US technology amid geopolitical tensions.
The city hall will replace Microsoft's Exchange Server and Outlook on 6,000 computers initially with a corporate e-mail system called MyOffice Mail to be installed by state-run phone carrier Rostelecom PJSC, Artem Yermolaev, head of information technology for Moscow, told reporters Tuesday.
The city may expand the new software, developed by Russian company New Cloud Technologies, to as many as 600,000 machines, and may also consider replacing Windows and Office later on, Mr Yermolaev said.
President Vladimir Putin is urging state entities to move away from foreign software amid concerns over security and reliability after US firms shut down paid services in Crimea following Russia's 2014 annexation of the peninsula.
They also stopped providing software updates to Russian companies sanctioned by the US over the Ukrainian crisis.
Government entities spend about 20 billion rubles (S$401.11 million) a year on foreign software, according to Communications Minister Nikolay Nikiforov.
The ministry developed a list of Russian software that state-run companies should use instead of products by Microsoft, SAP AG, Oracle Corp and other global vendors.