CNN reports Microsoft is in the EU's crosshairs again because the software giant stopped showing the "browser choice screen" when Windows 7 received Service Pack 1 in February 2011. Microsoft claims the browser choice screen is gong due to "a technical error" and claims it wasn't aware of this issue. If the software giant is found to have breached its legally binding commitments, it can be fined up to 10 percent of its annual revenue. Last year Microosft pulled in sales of nearly $70 billion.
Microsoft initially complied with the agreement, but stopped showing the choice screen when a Windows 7 update called "Service Pack 1" rolled out in February 2011. The company's compliance reports to the European Commission stated that Microsoft was honoring its commitment, but the software giant recently admitted that it had not been displaying the choice screen.
IE was supposed to be displayed prominently, alongside Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) Safari, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Opera. If a user scrolled over the options, they would also be able to choose Avant Browser, Flock, Green Browser, K-Meleon, Maxthon, Sleipnir or Slim Browser.
"We take compliance with our decisions very seriously," said Joaquín Almunia, vice president of the commission in charge of competition policy, in a written statement. "We have immediately taken action. If following our investigation, the infringement is confirmed, Microsoft should expect sanctions."
Use Disqus to post new comments, the old comments are listed below.
Re: Microsoft browser choice screen could cost it billions by Anonymous on Thursday, July 19 2012 @ 05:47:44 CEST
Google and Apple own 90% of the mobile browser base and are overtaking IE on the desktop. Both have systemic prioritizations for their browsers in their native OS's. Yet the EU wouldn't dare to go after them. To pick on MS now, when it has to fight to keep up with these companies is brutal and unfair. It's not the application of Law but rather a demonstration that the EU is an out of touch legal bully, out to fill their wallets more than to uphold one shred of justice.