After digging around to find the root cause of this latest issue, Microsoft now has a solution. And in fact, it is pointing the finger not at itself (as it did with the file deletion bug), but at Intel. In a posting on its Community forums, Microsoft writes:
Earlier this week, Intel unintentionally released version 9.21.00.3755 of the Intel Smart Sound Technology (ISST) Driver through Windows Update, and inadvertently offered it to a range of devices running Window 10 version 1803 or 1809. If your device contained a compatible audio driver, the new driver overrode it and caused audio to stop working.
Once it discovered the driver incompatibility, Microsoft said that it prevented the driver from being pushed out to more users via Windows Update. The company provides instructions for removing the problematic driver, which you can obtain with following this link. If you don't want to get your hands dirty removing the driver, Microsoft has also pushed out a new Windows Update (KB4468550) which automates the process for you.
Microsoft is currently seeding a revised version of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update that resolves the data deletion problem, which is being testing by Windows Insiders. Once this new version of the update is given a clean bill of health, it will once again be pushed out to the public and available for direct download.
Updated October 16th at 7:48am
Intel has issued the following statement with regards to the audio driver problem:
We are aware that some customers may have received via Windows Update an audio driver not intended for their computer. Microsoft has since removed that driver from Windows Update. If you are running Windows 10 version 1803 or above and are experiencing audio issues, please check to see if you have version 9.21.00.3755 of the Intel® Smart Sound Technology Driver. If so, uninstalling this version is expected to address the related audio issues. More information on how to check which driver you have or how to uninstall it is available online here.