As several readers pointed out, IE 5.0a does far more than solve some Office 2000 issues: It also resolves at least one of the major bugs in the original version of IE 5.0. Some of the security issues (include the Windows clipboard copying issue, which Microsoft says is a feature, not a bug) and the new bugs we discussed last week, however, were not addressed.
Well, there's always IE 5.0 SP1.
But in the meantime, IE 5.0a does solve the single biggest issue I had with IE 5.0, and I must take the time to thank the hundreds of you that took the time to write Microsoft, complaining about this, because your efforts paid off: Despite their silence during a year of complaints about this bug (which is documented in my IE 5.0 review during the beta, it took only a week of email from real users for the company to do a nice about-face and just fix the darn thing.
Anyway, it now works the way it always should have: When you open a new IE window, it will open in the size and placement of the last IE window. So if you like your browser windows full-screen, for example, rejoice: All of your browser windows will, finally, be available that way.
On a more solemn note, not everything is fixed. The bug where you type in an invalid URL without "http://" preceding it still causes that garbage DLL string to replace everything you type. And I haven't yet had time to see whether the new browser loads pages any better, but it does seem to so far. And there's the big problem for all the people that already downloaded IE 5.0 (over a million, according to Microsoft) because there's no quick and easy way to upgrade IE 5.0 to 5.0a. Currently, the only way to do so is to download the whole thing all over again, a tough fate for modem users. Hopefully, this will be resolved in the coming days: I'll try to keep on top of any developments.