Microsoft have been fined $730M because of their Web Browser

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Do you remember when Internet Explorer had a Browser Choice Screen pop-up? Apparently it began March 2010 as part of a settlement following an EU competition investigation.

Then, according to Microsoft, due to a technical error it disappeared after a Windows 7 update in February 2011.

Because of this they have been fined 561 million euros ($731m; £484m) for failing to promote a range of web browsers, rather than just Internet Explorer program, to users in the European Union (EU) according to the BBC.

Microsoft got off lucky as they could have been fined 10% of its global annual revenue, which would have totalled $7.4bn based on its 2012 report.

“We take full responsibility for the technical error that caused this problem and have apologised for it,” a spokesman for Microsoft said following the announcement.

“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.”

Microsoft’s chief executive Steve Ballmer and the former head of its Windows division Steven Sinofsky have already had their most recent bonuses docked, in part because of the browser affair.

“While it’s highly likely that it was a technical mistake that broke the browser choice facility the fact that it remained broken for 14 months raises significant questions about Microsoft’s ability and willingness to comply with the voluntary agreement with the EU,” Chris Green, principal analyst at the consultants Davies Murphy Group Europe, told the BBC.

“At the same time the situation also raises concerns over the EU’s ability to actually monitor the outcomes of antitrust agreements.”

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Posted on March 6, 2013, in News, Software and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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