only install the activex-control that you are initially prompted to install, then close "internet explorer".3: after closing "internet explorer", on your computer, go to "system", in "control panel", and ..
I don't believe the MS is oblivious to the issue (having been searching for a resolution for this all weekend) but I believe that MS just doesn't want to put any effort into a 12 year old OS with only 7 months of support left. With a combination of the instructions above, I was able to get my XP machine updating again. I'm not 100% sure LOL, but it's updating and back online. You know I initially read this then decided don't need it.
Step 2: Visit the Windows Update website via Internet Explorer and install the Active X control. Step 4: Close "Internet Explorer" after opting in to Microsoft update.
Step 5: Disable Automatic Updates in Control Panel and then reboot the computer. Step 6: Install Internet Explorer 8 and (important!
Wait a while (5~ minutes) after implementing this change because Windows will be silently updating the Windows Update components built in to Windows.
The Windows Update/Microsoft Update webpages will not allow access unless Windows "Automatic Updates" is turned on.