Microsoft says fixing browser issue as EU opens probe

BRUSSELS, July 17 Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:29am EDT

BRUSSELS, July 17 (Reuters) - Microsoft said on Tuesday a technical glitch had prevented it from offering users the choice of browsers it had promised and that it was taking steps to fix the problem after EU competition regulators opened an investigation into the matter.

"Due to a technical error, we missed delivering the BCS (browser choice screen) software to PCs that came with the service pack 1 update to Windows 7," Microsoft said in a statement.

"While we have taken immediate steps to remedy this problem, we deeply regret that this error occurred and we apologise for it."

The U.S. software giant said it was now distributing software with the browser option and has offered to extend the compliance period for an additional 15 months. It said it may face regulatory sanctions for breaching its undertakings to the European Commission after an antitrust ruling.