Support The Moscow Times!

Putin Still Uses Obsolete Windows XP, Report Says

Microsoft stopped releasing security updates for Windows XP in 2014.

Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to still use Microsoft’s discontinued Windows XP operating system, the Open Media news website reported Monday after examining photographs of his desktop.

Microsoft stopped releasing security updates for Windows XP and Office 2003, with occasional exceptions, in April 2014. Russian officials are technically banned from using foreign software as Moscow aims to protect national interests amid fears of foreign espionage and boost Russia’s tech industry.

Windows XP is installed both on Putin’s desktop in the Kremlin and at his official residence Novo-Ogaryovo west of Moscow, Open Media said, citing Kremlin press service photographs published this fall.

Putin avoids smartphones and has long viewed the internet with suspicion.

Windows XP was the last Microsoft operating system certified for use in Russia’s government agencies, according to Defense Ministry export control documents cited by Open Media. Windows 10, it added, received certification only for computers that do not hold state secrets.

Russia planned to replace Microsoft and Apple software with domestic operating systems at all government organizations and “strategic” companies by 2025-2030.

The presidential office was reported to have postponed plans to switch to a Russian-made operating system after it faced setbacks last year. Open Media said it was unable to find the Kremlin’s tender offers for the domestic operating system in the Russian government’s procurement database. 

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov did not explain to Open Media why the Kremlin still has not replaced Putin’s operating system.

Earlier this month, Russia banned the sale of smartphones without Russian-made software and apps starting July 2020. Putin also signed into law measures that would cut off the Russian segment of the internet from the rest of the world when needed.

… we have a small favor to ask.

As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just 2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.


Read more