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
"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.