Windows PCs across Europe should display a “Browser Choice Screen” (BCS) to their users, at least at times when Internet Explorer is set as the default browser.
This move follows a December 2009 decision of the European Commission, and has been a feature present on Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 computers in Europe ever since.
However, it seems that Microsoft has fallen short of delivering the BCS software to some of its users. A total of 28 million PCs running Windows 7 Service Pack 1 were left out of this, the company has confirmed.
Back in December 2011, the company filled a report saying that it was distributing the BCS software to all relevant PCs as required, but it seems that things were otherwise.
The European Commission has received reports that the BCS was not present on all Windows computers as needed, and an investigation from Microsoft unveiled that Windows 7 SP1 was missing it.
“While we have taken immediate steps to remedy this problem, we deeply regret that this error occurred and we apologize for it,” the Redmond-based giant announced.
The company has already developed a fix that was pushed out to Windows 7 SP1 computers to resolve the situation. The software has started to arrive on computers ever since July 2nd, and it should land on all of them before the end of this week.
The company also kicked off an investigation to determine how exactly the issue emerged in the first place. The investigation is conducted by outsiders and the findings will be sent to the Commission, Microsoft continued.
Additionally, Microsoft announced that it was extending its Compliance Period for 15 more months. The Commission will determine whether Microsoft will have to display the BCS for additional time or not, as well as whether other sanctions will be put in place for the company.
For those out of the loop, we should note that the BCS was meant to provide users with a fast option when it came to choosing another browser for their computers when Internet Explorer was set as default.
“Since most computer users run earlier versions of Windows, we estimate that the BCS software was properly distributed to about 90% of the PCs that should have received it,” Microsoft notes.
“We recognize, however, that our obligation was to distribute the BCS to every PC that should have received it. Therefore, we have moved as quickly as we can to address the error and to provide a full accounting of it to the Commission.”
The company also explained that the engineering team did not update the detection logic for the BCS software to make it compatible with Windows 7 SP1 as well when the new software was released last year.