Microsoft admits it failed to offer choice of browser to 28m Windows users
Microsoft is being investigated by the European Commission after it emerged that 28 million Windows users may not have been given a choice of internet browser.
The company has been fined over £1.5 billion by the European Commission for unfairly abusing its position as a market leader.
Since 2009 Microsoft has been required to offer all Windows users a choice of internet browsers. An update to Windows displayed a screen to all users asking them to choose an internet browser. It has now emerged that some users never saw this screen.
The European Commission said there would be "severe" consequences if the breach of regulations was confirmed.
"Needless to say, we take compliance with our decision very seriously. If the infringement is confirmed, there will be sanctions," the Commission said.
In a statement reacting to the news, Microsoft said it had "fallen short" in its responsibilities. The company explained that people using Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 were not given a choice of browser. It confirmed the error affected 28 million customers.
Since the original ruling in 2009, Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser has seen its market share decrease rapidly. At the time around 60 per cent of people used Internet Explorer.
At present, the browser is used by around 32 per cent of people, with Chrome also on 32 per cent and Firefox on 25 per cent.
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