updated 09:59 am EST, Wed March 6, 2013
Fine for lack of browser choice screen in Windows 7 Service Pack
The European Commission has handed Microsoft a hefty fine for not complying with a Commission order. The fine of 561 million euros ($730 million) stems from Microsoft failing to offer customers using Windows 7 Service Pack 1 the choice of default browser between May 2011 until July 2012, as part of commitments from a previous EC decision.
The Commission claims that around 15 million Windows users in the EU failed to see the web browser ballot screen, something which Microsoft blamed on a technical problem.
Commission vice president in charge of competition policy Joaquin Almunia spoke about the legally binding commitments that Microsoft agreed to after its investigation, stating "A failure to comply is a very serious infringement that must be sanctioned accordingly." It is also noted that this is the first instance where the Commission has fined a company for non-compliance of its decision, and that it took into account Microsoft's cooperation during the investigation when working out the exact value of the fine.
Microsoft has released a statement saying it will not be appealing the fine, and is taking full responsibility for the error. With a similar issue occuring in Windows 8, the Microsoft board of directors have already deducted part of CEO Steve Ballmer's bonus in October for the error's reappearance.