WASHINGTON - Microsoft Corp. withdrew a security improvement for its flagship Windows XP software after it crippled Internet connections for some of the 600,000 users who installed it.
Microsoft officials said Tuesday the update - which had been available as an option since Friday on its "Windows Update" Web site - apparently was incompatible with popular security software from other companies, such as Symantec Corp.
Microsoft said Internet connections failed immediately for an unspecified number of more than 600,000 computers using Windows XP who downloaded and installed the update. Consumers could reconnect only by removing the update, which promised to improve reliability for types of secure Internet connections commonly used by corporations.
The glitch occurs amid a debate in Washington among cybersecurity experts whether the technology industry should test the reliability and security of such updates more aggressively. Hackers can easily attack government systems where updates aren't installed routinely, but some experts install them only reluctantly because of worries about unintended consequences of some updates.