Question: So MSN messenger doesn’t work in Cuba now…but do you know WHEN msn started blocking Cuba from using it? Did you have a messenger account there and then it stopped working?
Answer: In May 2009, Microsoft discontinued providing Windows Live Messenger IM for users in countries embargoed or blockaded by the U.S., including Cuba, Syria, Iran, Sudan and North Korea. According to news reports, the reason provided by Microsoft is that it wants to come into compliance with a U.S. ban on the transfer of licensed software to embargoed countries.
Previously, Messenger had been used in Cuba for a decade without Microsoft interference.
Reports say that IM users who try to get connected receive an <error 810003c1> message saying that Microsoft <has stopped offering its Windows Live Messenger Service to users in embargoed countries and will not provide it to your country anymore>.
Internet communications service Skype currently works in Cuba.
Cuba’s Internet connection comes via satellite from distant countries such as Italy and Canada, and the U.S. blockade prevents it from obtaining better service through underwater cable. This may well be solved in the future due to a bilateral agreement between Cuba and Venezuela whereby the latter country will provide Cuba with an underwater fibre optic cable.
Despite restrictions on U.S. licensed software, the Cuban government employs Windows operating systems and other Microsoft programs on many of its computers. But it is working toward replacing them with open-source programs which are not bound to the rules and decisions of U.S. technology companies.