I received this error after a successful windows update a few days ago and checked today to get:
403 - Forbidden: Access is denied. You do not have permission to view this directory or page using the credentials that you supplied.
Here's what I did which did not solve the problem:
-Deleted the windowsupdate folder
-reregistered windows update components here - http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/956708
-Used windowsfix here - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/971058
-kinda did this before I realized it was for windows 95 - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/245142
Here's how I finally fixed it:
I checked my windows update log file at : c:\windows\WindowsUpdate.log
noticed this line near the end:
FATAL: Update required for C:\WINDOWS\system32\wuweb.dll: target version = 7.2.6001.788, required version = 7.4.7600.226
internet searched wuweb.dll and found this solution at: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/914226
it fixed my problem but my system didn't have iuctl.dll file and I skipped part 1 because i don't have automatic updates enabled. I did have to use the unlocker program on the file wuweb.dll to change it to wuweb.old however because it was locked but that and changing the file Iuengine.dll was the solution. I was able to revist windowsupdate.microsoft.com again and there was an active x notice which I installed and now showing updates again. Unfortunately the title of that solution applied to "Windows Update has encountered an error and cannot display the requested page" would be a difficult one to fine. Hope this post helps someone.
ps. This might also work: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/949104 which is to reinstall the windows update agent again cause the update corrupted it.