Back in March, Microsoft announced that it is halting all new sales of its products in Russia following the country's invasion of Ukraine. This meant that the company would no longer sell Xbox consoles, Windows, Microsoft 365, or Azure to new customers in Russia. The move followed Microsoft banning state-sponsored media outlets such as Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik from the Microsoft Store, reducing the visibility of their content on Bing, and blocking them from Microsoft's ad network, among other things.
Today, the Redmond tech giant has announced that it is significantly downsizing its operations in Russia, with over 400 employees being affected. In a statement to Bloomberg, Microsoft noted that:
As a result of the changes to the economic outlook and the impact on our business in Russia, we have made the decision to significantly scale down our operations in Russia. We will continue to fulfill our existing contractual obligations with Russian customers while the suspension of new sales remains in effect.
We are working closely with impacted employees to ensure they are treated with respect and have our full support during this difficult time.
Given that Microsoft already halted new sales of services and products in Russia in March, it's natural - but unfortunate for affected employees - that the company is downscaling its operations in the country in terms of headcount too. While existing contractual obligations will be honored, its clear that the firm does not want to invest its efforts in Russia until political and economic stability is reached.