The European Union competition police has handed Microsoft an enormous $730 million fine after the software giant admitted that a “technical error” saw new Windows machines arriving without the option to choose a default web browser.
The problem arose when the browser select screen, which Microsoft introduced in 2010 after previous EU anti-competition cases, was left out of the Windows 7 Service Pack 1 that hit in early 2011. This meant new PC buyers had to suffer the pain of opening up Internet Explorer and manually downloading the browser of their choice instead of being offered a choice via the browser select pop-up.
It took 18 months for someone to notice and complain to the EU about the disappearance of the Windows browser choice option, so it would appear no one apart from the EU really gives a toss about Microsoft’s choice of default web browser. [BBC]