Windows 10 October 2018 Update users are being forced to upgrade – ready or not

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft has begun the process of herding those still running the Windows 10 October 2018 Update into upgrading to the most recent November 2019 Update.

The same thing has already happened to those running the April 2018 Update, and that previous forced upgrade scheme kicked off in July (instigating automatic upgrades to the May 2019 Update, which of course was the most recent version of Windows 10 at the time).

So this is the second time Microsoft has wielded an upgrade cattle prod, effectively, and the reason for doing so is security – because the end of service date for the update in question is on the horizon. Users must therefore upgrade, or face missing out on vital security patches.

However, the timeframe in which Microsoft is pushing these mandatory upgrades is well in advance of what the company initially announced. The official stance remains that the rollout process will be started “several months in advance of the end of service date to provide adequate time for a smooth update process”.

Which is fair enough, but the end of support deadline for the October 2018 Update is May 12, 2020, so that’s actually still over five months away – a little more than ‘several months’ in our books.

Slow start

Mind you, as ZDNet reports, Microsoft did say that it will “slowly start the phased process”, so it’s likely that initially, not all that many folks will be given the shove to upgrade to the November 2019 Update.

However, in a couple of months’ time, we are likely to witness the same scenario as we did with the May 2019 Update, when it suddenly started getting massive adoption, almost all of it coming from users running the update which was hitting end of service (in that case, the April 2018 Update).

So in short, expect a flood of upgraders coming across to the latest November 2019 Update early on next year.

The October 2018 Update was famously stormy, as you may well recall, and a lot of people weren’t given the upgrade as a result, skipping straight from the April 2018 Update to the May 2019 Update.

In the last AdDuplex stats we saw on what versions of Windows 10 people are running, around 25% of users remain on the October 2018 Update.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).