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ie7_logoAn investigation into Microsoft’s bundling of its Internet Explorer browser within the Windows operating system has ended, as the software company agreed to offer a choice of browsers. The European Commission accepted Microsoft’s commitment to a Web browser choice screen, which will be included within Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.

The new “choice screen” or “ballot screen” enables users to select and install Internet Explorer alternatives.

The new agreement has a term of five years and includes a semi-annual review of its effectiveness. Currently, the browser choice screen is only available to European consumers.

“This is a victory for the future of the web,” said Jon von Tetzchner, CEO of Opera Software. “This decision is also a celebration of open web standards, as these shared guidelines are the necessary ingredients for innovation on the Web.”

The EU investigation was started after Opera complained about the bundling issue in 2007.