The European Union (EU) has accepted Microsoft’s proposal for a browser ballot screen, allowing Windows users to choose their browser on first run.

The ballot screen will be pushed out to users of Windows XP, Vista, and 7 via Windows Update for users in the EU and neighbouring countries.

The ballot screen is required to be in place for at least the next 5 years, or Microsoft face fines of up to 10% of it’s world wide turnover.

On release, the ballot screen is set to include the 5 major browser – Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome and Opera – all in a random order. Users will also be able to scroll down the screen to choose less popular browsers. These include AOL, Maxthon, K-Meleon, Flock, Avant Browser, Sleipnir and Slim Browser.

The list of browsers is set to be reviewed every 6 months.

“We hope this closes a long chapter in a sometimes uneasy relationship with the Commission, and we hope it opens a new one,” said Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes.

The ballot screen is expected to be pushed out to users in the first part of 2010.

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