According to the commission, users who installed Windows 7 SP 1 between May 2011 and July 2012 didn’t see the browser ballot option that would have been visible if Microsoft would have implemented. In effect, over 15 million Europeans didn’t see the option it has been estimated. The fine has been levied considering the seriousness and duration of the infringement while considering the fact that Microsoft did actually co-operate during the investigation.

The fine is the first instance where the Commission has taken an action against a company which has violated upon a direct order. Joaquín Almunia, vice president of competition within the EU said, “Commitment decisions are a very important tool in the EU antitrust enforcement system.”

“Decisions of this type – so-called art 9 Decisions – can be a good way to solve antitrust concerns swiftly since they avoid lengthy proceedings”, Almunia added.

On the other hand Microsoft said that it takes full responsibility of the technical error due to which the browser ballot was not visible. The operating system giant revealed that it went on to assess the reason behind the glitch and has taken steps that would ensure that such a situation doesn’t arise again.