Just as with any global company, Microsoft has to deal with local laws and customs in any location it chooses to do business in. China, for instance, poses unique issues, and even Europe has caused to company headaches with such things as the browser ballot, among the myriad other problems the EU has posed to the software giant.
Now Russia is making changes to its time and zones, forcing Microsoft to alter software to help customers there cope with all of it. The federation is changing back to "winter time" on October 26th and, with that, also altering time zones across the nation.
"Over the summer (here in the northern hemisphere) the Russian State Duma passed a proposal which was signed into law by President Putin, which outlines the plan to change all of the time zones in the Federation", Microsoft states in a blog post.
To deal with this, the company is working with representative within Russia to make the necessary changes to its software and services. One of the changes is that the product will now list the new time zone names, though the list being provided is provisional at the moment as things continue to be ironed out. There is also an outline of the release schedule for the updates, though Microsoft has not yet provided that, pending final approval.
This is the cost of doing business on a global scale. While the money spent to handle all of this was, no doubt, a bit high, it will pay off in the long run, as the company can retain happy customers within Russia.