Ruh roh, Shaggy. It appears a recent update for Outlook
2007 wasn't quite ready for prime time, causing all sorts of connection and performance problems for those who tried to install it. It was issued as part of the monthly Patch Tuesday collection, and has now been pulled following several user complaints.
"On Tuesday, December 14, we released an update (KB2412171) for Microsoft Outlook 2007. We have discovered several issues with the update and want to inform you about problems you might encounter and what corrective steps we recommend," Microsoft wrote on its MSDN blog. "As of December 16, this Outlook 2007 update has been removed from Microsoft Update.
"This Outlook 2007 update was distributed via Microsoft Update. Many of you receive updates automatically and if you installed the update between Tuesday, December 14, and Thursday, December 16, it is likely that you are affected."
Uninstalling the update is easy enough. Windows 7 and Vista users need only go to Start > Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features > View installed updates. Click the entry for KB2412171 and click Uninstall.
For those rocking Windows XP, go to Start > Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs and make sure the Show Updates check box is checked. Proceed to uninstall KB2412171.