Microsoft's EU 'Browser Ballot' Troubles: 10 Issues Behind the Fine

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2013-03-06 Print this article Print

5. Internet Explorer is on the decline

The browser ballot wasn’t a good thing for Microsoft. Prior to its arrival, the software giant was delivering the vast majority of Web pages in Europe. Now, though, its browser has given way to Google’s Chrome as the continent’s most popular browser.

6. The EU has a problem with Microsoft

The EU has a major issue with Microsoft. For years now, the governing body has criticized Microsoft’s position in the software market and done its best to tear it down. So far, Microsoft has paid over $1 billion to the European Union to escape its regulatory grasps. And by the look of things, the EU isn’t ready to give up.

7. Microsoft has apologized

Microsoft has acknowledged that the browser ballot stopped working. More importantly, the company apologized for the program and said that it wouldn’t happen again. As of this writing, Microsoft is showing the browser ballot in Windows.

8. Microsoft blames it on a bug

So, why did the browser ballot stop working? Blame it on a bug. The company said that there was a “technical error” in Windows 7 Service Pack 1 that left the ballot inoperative from February 2011 to July 2012. No one inside the company apparently noticed the problem for that period of time.

9. Microsoft could fight it

Don’t expect Microsoft to take its impending fine lying down. The company could fight the fine and claim that it was a simple mistake and that it shouldn’t have to pay such a huge fine for it. Whether or not the defense will work, however, remains to be seen. As noted, the EU hasn’t been lenient with Microsoft before.

10. More sanctions could be coming

There’s a good chance that a fine won’t be Microsoft’s only problem. In the past, when its expectations were not met, the EU has leveled significant sanctions against companies competing on the continent. There’s a chance that in addition to a fine, Microsoft might be hit with some additional sanctions and regulations.

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