The European Commission (EC) may finally reach an agreement in its decade-long battle with Microsoft after the software giant made concessions to give European consumers a free and fully informed choice of web browsers as well as how popular programmes like Word and Excel work with competitors' products.
The world's largest software maker offered to make concessions in July to address competitors charges of monopoly abuse in two European Union antitrust cases.
One was bundling the Internet Explorer with Windows software and the other was regarding the way other brands communicate with Microsoft products.
Microsoft had told the Brussels-based regulator in July that it would create a new ballot screen inside its Windows operating system to give consumers a choice of 12 browsers to download and give those browsers the same visibility as Internet Explorer (IE).
Microsoft said that the ballot screen will come pre-installed on all new Windows 7 computers and also on older systems running Vista or Windows XP through Microsoft's Windows Update server.
Oslo-based Opera Software Company, owner of the Opera Web browser, had complained to the EC in 2007 that Microsoft had unlawfully bundled IE along with Windows, thereby giving consumers no choice as well as stifling competition.