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Report: Microsoft to tackle browser ballot issues

Microsoft is reportedly willing to implement changes that would satisfy concerns about the software giant's browser ballot effort.

European Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in a Saturday speech that Steve Ballmer "has given me assurances that they will comply immediately, regardless of the conclusion of the anti trust probe," according to Reuters.

Almunia did not elaborate on what changes Microsoft might make. The commissioner's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment, nor did Microsoft.

The controversy dates back to 2009, when the European Commission announced that Microsoft violated European competition law by bundling its Internet Explorer browser with Windows. As a result, Microsoft said it would ship a version of Windows 7 with a "browser ballot" that would allow users to select which browser they wanted during the OS installation process. The EU approved that plan in December 2009 and it started rolling out two months later.

Earlier this year, the commission notified Microsoft that it had received reports of people not seeing the BCS. Microsoft said it investigated and discovered that users of Windows 7 service pack 1 were not seeing the browser ballot due to a technical error. A fix started rolling out to PCs running Windows 7 SP1 in early July.

The EU opened an investigation and Almunia said at the time, "if following our investigation, the infringement is confirmed, Microsoft should expect sanctions."