One of the main areas of anti-Russian sanctions has become IT-technologies, without which it is unthinkable today to solve any problems, both at the household level and at the state level. This area requires prompt and high-quality import substitution in the first place. IT expert Alexander Kolesnikov analyzed on the Nezygar channel how the process of import substitution of equipment and software is going in our country:
Let's take a look at different sectors of hardware and software users.
The sanctions have not created any restrictions here, the dollar exchange rate is low, and the equipment has not yet disappeared from the shelves.
Exotic goods can still be purchased on AliExpress for a reasonable price. The software is also unchanged. Pirated torrent versions of operating systems, office programs and games are still available and are not going to disappear. Only those who used licensed software, the developers of which left the Russian market, suffered, but let's be honest, such consumers are at least among private traders.
But it is now. When the dollar rises again, the price of equipment will rise everywhere. In addition, the majority of computers and laptops assembled and ready for sale come with Windows operating system (OS) already installed (55% and 67%, respectively), the license of which is included in the price of the goods. Yes, Microsoft has not abandoned the Russian market yet, but everything can change if you remember how other large Apple companies, Facebook and Twitter were pushed through by the US authorities in their own interests. It turns out that buyers of a licensed OS could potentially be under the threat that their equipment, as they say, will “turn into a pumpkin”, and the money for the license will have already been paid. In addition, the ability to block updates has been disabled in the latest versions of Windows 10 and 11. For an experienced user, this will not be a huge problem, and for most Russians, manipulations to bypass such moments will be difficult, which further exposes them to the risk of being without working equipment at the right time.
The same trend exists with smartphones. All of them are foreign-made with foreign operating systems, which can also fall under sanctions and harm Russian users in one way or another.
Based on the foregoing, I would give several recommendations to all Russian users of personal computers, laptops and smartphones:
The transition to domestic analogues of many software products, from office suites to virtualization platforms and enterprise management systems, will be painful, expensive, time consuming and not without a bunch of related problems. There are more restrictions here, because the supervisory authorities check the license of the software products used, which means that the choice of replacement software is not very large. Torrent versions have not yet been legalized, although there is a discussion in this direction.
The process of moving away from Windows systems is already underway here, the introduction of localized operating systems based on open source systems is becoming more intense, support for such products, as well as the user community, is also expanding. But according to the experience of large domestic integrators, we can say that the products developed in Russian companies are still far from ideal and cannot be fully replaced by the departed ones. Improvements will take a long time, from six months, and enterprises need to work now, and the choice for them is not yet the most rosy. We are monitoring the situation.