Momentous moment alert -- the EU has just closed the book on its lengthy investigation into potential Microsoft antitrust violations. Lasting through nearly the entire noughties, The European Commission's dissatisfaction with what it perceived as monopolistic practices from Redmond has resulted in some hefty fines over the years, but the conclusion to hostilities has been pleasingly amicable. In exchange for Microsoft's legally binding promise to offer up to 12 other browsers alongside its own, the European executive will give the company a clean bill of competition-friendly health. All this means is that the ballot screen will be around on Windows operating systems for at least the next five years (starting in mid-March 2010), which should give the EU plenty of time to think up the next batch of allegations to throw Microsoft's way.

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EU settles affairs with Microsoft, no fines this time