Today, Microsoft is providing some clarification for what went wrong and is absolving itself of any blame in the situation. Early this morning, Microsoft posted the following statement to its Windows Support page:
The Windows Update service was impacted by a data corruption issue in an external DNS service provider global outage on January 29, 2019. The issue was resolved on the same day and Windows Update is now operating normally, but a few customers have continued to report issues connecting to the Windows Update service. We expect these issues will go away as downstream DNS servers are updated with the corrected Windows Update DNS entries.
By Microsoft's own account, the issue that caused initial service interruptions was fixed relatively quickly. In fact, most Comcast users reported that they were able to hit the Windows Update server normally by Friday. However, customers using UK's BT Broadband were still experiencing connectivity issues throughout the weekend.
For anyone still having issues, we suggest that you check out our guide for switching your ISP-supplied DNS to a publicly available alternative from Google or Cloudflare. This would at least provide a temporary solution until your ISP’s DNS servers are completely flushed.