Microsoft may be fined for browser ballot failure in Windows 7 SP1
EU antitrust regulators might impose fines up to $7 billion on Microsoft for the company’s failure to offer a choice of browsers in Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1). Microsoft was supposed to offer a choice of browsers in computers with Windows 7 SP1 to European customers through a ballot screen.
This was decided in an EU antitrust ruling in 2009. The ruling aimed to minimize the effects of the advantage that Microsoft had by bundling Internet Explorer with Windows 7.
According to the EU's chief regulator, Joaquin Almunia, [quote]It appears that since the launch of Windows 7 Service Pack 1 the choice screen has not been displayed.[/quote] Due to this, around 28 million computer users in Europe were denied the browser choice screen. The European Commission could charge Microsoft a fine of up to 10% of its revenue during the time that the browser choice screen was not displayed.
Microsoft has apologized for the omission of the browser ballot and called it a "technical error." A statement issued by the company stated that [quote]Due to a technical error, we missed delivering the BCS [browser choice screen] software to PCs that came with the Service Pack 1 update to Windows 7.[/quote]