Microsoft blames lack of choice on technical error

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer pictured during a presentation last year. Credit: Tass

The Windows 7 service pack 1, rolled out between mid-2011 and mid-2012, failed to offer consumers a choice of browser, leading to the EU investigation that resulted in today's fine.

Microsoft said the failure was the result of a technical error and that procedures have since been tightened.

In what was seen as an acknowledgement of the severity of the mistake, the board cut the bonus of chief executive Steve Ballmer last year, according to company's annual reports.

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Microsoft hit with huge EU fine

EU competition regulators have fined Microsoft €561m (£484m) for breaking a promise to offer European consumers a choice of web browser.