A little bit of luck is required when troubleshooting problems. In this case, it was the dreaded FATAL ERROR.
FATAL ERROR: Unhandled Access Violation Reading 0x0000 Exception at ef86cfch
You will notice a login window above the error dialog box that indicates that this is a Desktop Subscription [aka Rental or META] product.
The solution was easy, we needed to uncheck all items under Automatic configuration under the Local Area (LAN) settings [Intenet Options > Connections > LAN Settings]:
It is a part of the troubleshooting steps noted here:
Thanks to Andy Lempera for confirming that this tip worked.