Only "a very small number" of subscribers have been affected by what an AOL company spokesman described as a "sporadic connectivity issue," although it could be two weeks before Microsoft and AOL can deliver a permanent fix.
"We are working with Microsoft right now to quickly resolve the issue. We are not going into the technical details, but we expect to have it resolved in the next week or two," said Andrew Weinstein, an AOL spokesman.
In the meantime Windows XP users who cannot access the service can call the cable company that installed their cable modem or AOL's service support organisation to obtain a "slightly different configuration" for their machines that restores full access, Weinstein said. He declined to say if the technical problem resides within Windows XP or AOL's software.
Even before its October release, Microsoft officials have touted Windows XP's innate ability to work hand-in-glove with high-speed communications products from multiple Internet providers such as AOL and AT&T Broadband.