Microsoft is one of the wealthiest company's in the world, with billions in cash reserves. It's made this fortune on the back of software systems used the world over, by everyone from the largest multi-nationals to corner shops and kids in their bedrooms.
Indeed, this helped founder Bill Gates amass a personal fortune of some $67bn. As such, the fine levied by the European Commission today of £485m is probably not going to hurt the firm too much financially, although of course it will hurt its balance sheet.
However, the bigger issue for Microsoft is surely the sheer embarrassment the fine must cause as it was the result of a glaring software update oversight that meant it managed to remove a piece of code required under law after its first run in with the European authorities.
For a company to manage to ship an entire Service Pack update without anyone noticing it was missing a piece that really had to be there almost defies belief. For the firm to even report to the EC it was adhering to its obligations when it wasn't is just unfathomable.
For a firm that prides itself on its software and its chief executive famously proclaimed the company was all about "developers, developers, developers, developers" it's an utter egg-on-face-situation that must have its rivals rolling in the aisles.
It certainly doesn't help when it's trying to convince the world its Windows 8 system is worth a punt, and yet the headlines are dominated by news of massive fines for software failings.
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