It may be the dominant Web browser and the overwhelming technological champion, but Internet Explorer 5.0 is causing fits for Microsoft Corporation. Bug after bug has plagued the Web browser since its release in March, and now, just six months later, its seems a week doesn't go by without some new problem cropping up. This week, IE 5.0 was hit by not one, but two new bugs, one of them fairly serious. And a reeling Microsoft can't seem to ship IE 5.01--which will include a massive collection of bug fixes--soon enough.

Bug-tracking Web site BigFix has identified what it describes as a "serious" bug, which can compromise the security of PCs on a local network, even if they're behind a firewall. Using a security hole in Internet Explorer 5.0, malicious intruders would be able steal files off of a computer from over the Internet. BigFix recommends that users disable Active Scripting as a temporary workaround, since Microsoft has yet to come up with a fix. The company says, however, that a patch will be posted to its Security Web site as soon as its available.

Meanwhile, another bug site, BugNet, has identified another, less serious, bug in Internet Explorer that could cause problems with XML, the eXtensible Markup Language that many Web sites are beginning to use. Microsoft's HTML rendering engine in Internet Explorer can strip quotes out of HTML attribute strings in certain situations, rendering them incompatible with the new XML standard. Microsoft is aware of the problem, though they've been mum about any potential fixes.

If you're using Internet Explorer 5.0, you might want to make sure that your install has the latest bug fixes installed. To do, visit Windows Update (if you're a Windows 98 or 2000 user) or the Microsoft Security Web site