The European Union authorities have fined Microsoft $732 million. The fine was imposed because Microsoft did not respect an agreement to give users who are using Windows a clear option to choose from various browser.
Microsoft was supposed to display a pop-up screen that showed users the option to choose between different browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Opera and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.
Apparently in February 2011, Windows 7 Service Pack 1 was rolled out and the screen disappeared. EU authorities did not investigate the matter immediately and according to a report in GigaOm, Google and Opera tipped of EU about it.
Google and Microsoft bitter fighting!
Google and Microsoft are fighting against each other for a long time. Google had once accused Bing of copying results from Google Search. Microsoft has not been playing nice either. Their negative ads against Google – almost blaming them for the US financial collapse and recently a new campaign called BingitOn that was supposed to comparative differences between Google and Bing.
Google maybe playing a little negative here but what was Microsoft trying to do here! It is not the first it has been fined by the EU authorities. An anti-trust case in 2004 ended up in EU setting a fine of $794 Million against Microsoft for the same mischief regarding browser choices.(related Wikipedia article).
Google also has good reason to see Microsoft playing fair, as it does impact Chrome negatively. Most growth seen by Chrome has been at the cost of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.