Is your version registered or are you still on your "trial period"?
If something like this does not work, and it wont let you do anything related with microsoft, I would reccommend calling the place you got your computer, because they may have given you a product-key that was either stolen, or registered to multiple machines.
I've had problems with different combinations of antivirus and firewalls not allowing my computer to grab updates from microsoft (AVG anitvirus, ZoneAlarm, or Avast Antivirus).
These products are free for personal use and I highly recomend them, but the installation of Avast Antivirus, for instance, searches for and warns of conficts with ZoneAlarm that cause unusual behavior when connecting to the web. Read online about your products, or go online at your local library if you have to, to see if you don't have one of these conficts on your system. otherwise ...
Try turning off your firewall (any other firewall that is not the microsoft firewall) and your antivirus software to see if this lets you connect and download microsoft updates and software. Some firewalls will prevent access to updates when left on the high setting and turning them back down to medium protection is required to connect to microsoft (e.g. ZoneAlarm Pro).
Also, is this the only computer online that could be blocking the connection. What i mean is ... do you have a router? Some routers have to be configured correctly to allow traffic accross required ports for updating. Check with microsoft for more details on routing.
After checking all of these possiblities you should go to microsoft.com and download a new installation of their update software. Getting a clean install of the update software is important because microsoft is forced to change and secure their client connections/software on a regular basis because hackers/viruses attack these connections constantly. I've fallen through many a crack in the microsoft universe on different machines when it comes to updates, and the only way is to start the update process over (e.g. reinstall and go from scratch) or hope that microsoft remembers you and has a solution for your machine and specific problem.
Good luck!! You've got a lot of work/reading ahead of you if you decide to browse the microsoft forums for help. ;-p
P.S. if forgot to add that you should always register your products with the company as quickly as you can. This is the only way to insure that the product remains yours and doesn't become yet another victim of the hacker community. What i mean is how does microsoft know that it's you that should have rights to the software but through registration? Register first so that if anyone else trys to use your software they will be the one who doesn't get to connect for updates, and more importantly you will not end up in court over software that you've paid for.
Sorry But Do You See The Start UP folder and Start UP Run Services in Registry?