Microsoft is releasing an update to its Internet Explorer browser to fix a security problem that could expose personal computers to hacking attacks.
A permanent repair to the security flaw will be released tomorrow. Microsoft began offering a temporary patch for the problem on Wednesday on a part of its website set up for technical issues.
The permanent solution to the problem will be automatically installed on PCs running on Microsoft's Windows operating system if the machine is set up to receive important updates. The temporary repair requires clicking on a link.
Microsoft, which is based in Redmond, Washington, is urging PC users who haven't enabled their machines for automatic updates to retrieve and install the permanent patch as soon as possible Friday.
Although Microsoft says "the vast majority" of users have not been bit by the security bug, the potential for trouble prompted a German technology agency to advise using other Web browsers besides Internet Explorer.
Once the dominant Web browser, Internet Explorer has been losing market share in recent years to Google's Chrome, Apple's Safari and Mozilla's Firefox.
At least one research firm maintains that Chrome eclipsed Internet Explorer as the world's most popular browser earlier this year. Other measures still rate Internet Explorer as the market leader.
Google, one of Microsoft's fiercest rivals, touts Chrome as a faster and safer alternative to Internet Explorer.