City of Moscow to ditch 600k Exchange and Outlook licences

Cisco's already been sent to the gulag, now Microsoft's at risk of 'keep roubles in Russia' policy

The city of Moscow has announced it's going to start ditching Microsoft, following a call by president Vladimir Putin for Russia to be more self-reliant, and is starting with an untried-at-scale e-mail system.

The phase-out will start by replacing Microsoft Exchange servers and Outlook clients, on 6,000 of the city's computers, with an e-mail system from state-run carrier Rostelecom.

Windows and Office could be next on the list, and local reports suggest the shift could impact as many as 600,000 end users.

According to local business news outlet Vedomosti (in Russian here), the scale of the eventual rollout is because eventually schools, doctors, and housing and community service workers will be using the city-provided e-mail software.

The migration to email servers hosted at Rostelcom, using software from New Cloud Technologies in Russia, is expected to take two years.

Vedomosti says the city has budgeted RUB 43.6 million (about US$700,000) for the initial project, and that the new licenses will be around 30 per cent cheaper than Moscow's current Microsoft bill.

An IT integrator told the outlet it was the first big win for New Cloud's MyOffice product.

Bloomberg claims Russia represents a US$3 billion software market for the likes of Microsoft, SAP, and Oracle.

The financial news service quotes communications minister Nikolay Nikiforov as saying “We want the money of taxpayers and state-run firms to be primarily spent on local software”.

Moscow's CIO Artem Yermolaev said the city has already swapped out Cisco's surveillance camera software for local product.

In March, Oracle slagged off PostgreSQL in an attempt to fend off Russian moves towards the libre database. ®

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