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Microsoft is fined $732 million by EU for removing browser ballot box in Windows 7 SP1

Posted By Enrique Manalang On March 6, 2013 @ 9:17 AM In Browsers,Windows | 11 Comments

browserchoice [1]

Microsoft has just been fined 561 million euros (approximately $732 million) for breaking an antitrust agreement made in 2009.

In that agreement, Microsoft complied with the EU’s request to include a “browser ballot box” in every new copy of Windows which allows people to select their default browser for Windows. But due to what the company is calling a “technical error,” this was removed in Windows 7 SP1. According to the EU, this resulted in 15 million Windows users not seeing the ballot box and instead defaulting to Internet Explorer, hence the fine.

This $732 million fine isn’t quite as big as the previous EU fine on Microsoft ($1.44 billion), but it counts for 3 percent of the company’s profit for the whole 2012. And according to a statement by Microsoft, the company will not be seeking an appeal:

“We take full responsibility for the technical error that caused this problem and have apologized for it. We provided the Commission with a complete and candid assessment of the situation, and we have taken steps to strengthen our software development and other processes to help avoid this mistake – or anything similar – in the future.”

This has got to be one of the more expensive “technical errors” in recent tech world history.

[via The Verge [2]]

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[1] Image: http://dottech.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/browserchoice.png

[2] The Verge: http://www.theverge.com/2013/3/6/4069126/eu-fines-microsoft-for-windows-7-sp1-browser-ballot

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