Microsoft, without any announcement, has closed Russian access to downloading Windows 10 and 11 OS images, as well as the Media Creation Tool utility. We have no comments from the corporation yet; however, by experience it was possible to determine that users can bypass the restriction by changing the IP address and language of the site.
In early March, Microsoft announced a decision to suspend all new sales in Russia; and three months later, it announced the reduction of more than 400 local employees of the company. Perhaps the closure of access to download Windows; and the auxiliary tool Media Creation Tool was the result of this decision. When trying to download the images and the utility, an error message appears, in the latter case it is a 404 error.
Russians were deprived of the opportunity to download images of Windows 10 and 11 from the Microsoft website – the restriction can be bypassed
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As CNews and DTF resources suggested, the restriction does not depend on the provider and is valid for all Russian users, residents of Kazakhstan also reported the problem, but these were isolated cases. The hypothesis turns out to be true due to the relatively simple way to circumvent the restriction. In order to download an image of one of the available Windows; you need to change the IP address, for example, by going to the Microsoft website via VPN. At the same time, it is desirable to install a different language for the site; any other than Russian, otherwise this method may not work.
According to StatCounter, the Windows family of operating systems is the world’s most popular desktop platform; with a share of 75.54% in May 2022. Second place goes to the macOS family with 14.98%, followed by Linux systems (excluding ChromeOS) with a share of 2.45%.
Recall that, in addition to Microsoft, access to the resources of Intel and IBM by Russians was closed. The site of the first appears incorrectly, and the second shows a message about the unavailability of content. Russian users also lost the opportunity to access the free photo libraries Pixabay and Pexels.