FAS strongly recommends to pre-install Russian software on smartphones and laptops sold in Russia

    Photo source: Yury Martyanov / Kommersant The

    Federal Anti-Monopoly Service decided to stop at the hard variant of regulating the pre-installation of Russian software, as reported by Kommersant. A bill is already ready, according to which domestic software should be a condition for the release of devices on the Russian market. According to experts, Yandex will benefit from the new rules, which can save tens of millions of dollars a year on commercial contracts with vendors. Foreign companies are predictably not very happy with the initiative.

    The project became known after the FAS forwarded to the Ministry of Communications and Mass Media the draft amendments to the laws “On Communications” and “On Information”. According to the project, manufacturers of smartphones, tablets and computers can be forced to pre-install domestic software on their products. Only in this case, gadgets will fall on the Russian market.

    In addition, the bill states that equipment manufacturers should provide for the complete removability of foreign pre-installed applications, in the event that this software does not affect the functioning of the equipment. The list of devices on which it is necessary to install domestic software, the list of types of such software and the procedure for creating and maintaining the registry are established by the government.

    At the end of January, FAS prepared the concept of a bill, according to which domestic software means a browser, antivirus, a geo-program and a messenger installed on smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops weighing up to 10 kg.

    Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that creating an alternative to foreign products does not mean that Russia decided to embark on a path of self-isolation. This is impossible and inappropriate.

    According to the head of FAS, Anatoly Golomolzin, all subscriber equipment in Russia is subject to certification. "Compliance with the requirements for pre-installation and uninstallation of applications that do not affect the performance of the devices will be one of the conditions for the certification of such equipment," he said. Representatives of the Ministry of Communications and Mass Media stated that the approach is interesting, but it should be worked out both from a technical and economic point of view.

    In order to undergo a compliance procedure, devices are subjected to a series of tests. They are conducted by standards. But there is no standard to confirm the conditions of the pre-installation and the uninstallation of applications and software. And until they appear, the requirements of the FAS, prescribed in the bill, will be impossible to implement. Well, one can wait for the emergence of new standards for a long time - this is not a matter of one month.

    According to experts, the FAS initiative may have a negative impact on foreign companies. And Apple will suffer most of all, since almost all of the company's gadgets are managed by a closed operating platform. As a class, it lacks certain categories of applications - for example, antiviruses. So if the bill is adopted, the share of Apple in the Russian market may significantly decrease.

    Well, “Yandex” will win, because it will get its applications pre-installed on hundreds of thousands of devices almost for free. Now the company has to pay manufacturers, and out of 35 million smartphones sold annually in Russia, there are 18 million applications of the company.

    “It is important that the technical details of any new regulation be carefully worked out. Of course, existing commercial agreements with manufacturers must be maintained. Also, the user experience and safety of devices should not suffer, ”said Yandex.

    Previously also reportedthat, from a certain point, Russian officials will be transferred to mobile devices based on Sailfish OS. The project to provide the authorities with new devices was prepared in early 2018. The supplier of such phones will be Rostelecom, which has developed two models for the provision of mobile services based on the domestic operating system. The first model, in fact, rent, the rate is 16.6 thousand rubles per person per year. Most likely, the full transition of federal employees to the domestic OS will take place by the end of 2021. In 2019, the number of officials with new phones will grow to 300 thousand, in 2020 to 800, by the end of 2021, to 1.4 million people.

    The financing of the program “Russian smartphones for Russian officials” will cost the budget 1.3 billion rubles only this year.

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