The ill-fated Windows 10 October 2018 Update has hitherto been offered only to those Windows users who manually sought it, either by using the dedicated upgrade and media creation tools or by manually checking for the update in Windows Update. Three months after its initial release, Microsoft has at last started pushing it to Windows users automatically.
The update was originally withdrawn because of a data loss bug. A month after the initial release, the bug was fixed and the fixed update was made available. Even this release was limited, with a number of blocks in place due to known incompatibilities. As described above, it was then only offered to those taking certain manual steps to update their machines. One month ago, these blocks were largely removed.
Even with automatic deployment and installation now enabled, the beleaguered update is still rolling out in phases. Initially, it will be offered to spaces where Microsoft is most confident that the update will be trouble-free—machines with configurations already known and tested. As the tap is slowly opened more and the update is made available to a wider range of hardware, the company will use operating system telemetry to detect any lingering incompatibilities with device drivers or unusual software.
Typically after a few months, the targeted deployments are ended and floodgates are opened entirely, with the update being pushed to every device (except those known specifically to be incompatible). At this point, the update is also made available to machines configured to use the conservative, enterprise-oriented “Semi-Annual Channel” (as opposed to the “Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted)” that’s used by most home users and which participates in the staggered rollout).