What's the actual difference between versions 'a' and 'b' of MATLAB, other than being 6 months apart?
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I always thought the main difference between versions 'a' and 'b' of MATLAB was 'b' being 6 months "better" than version 'a' and, of course, this means that naturally the version 'b' is going to be a more up-to-date version, with more features as well - being the main intent to have new releases every semester. However, just the other day a friend of mine claimed something I wasn't able to double-check elsewhere:
"Usually the 'a' versions are more stable (...) being 'b' more of a pre-release of version 'a' of the next year [rather than an actual release], having features that have past beta but still can be improved" (and supposedly will be improved and perfected at 'a'). But isn't this the story with just any release? Don't you always implement new things and improve things of the past as necessary?
" 'b' will usually have more features than 'a', however the version 'b' is going to be something around 90% to 100% reliable, while 'a' will always be 100% reliable". Have someone ever come across these reliability concerns once?
(Writings in italic are my comments about the claims, and not part of the claim itself)
Is someone capable of confirming this? I have always seen it as if the real beta release/period takes place just months before the actual release of 'a' and 'b', when Mathworks releases its actual beta version to get feedback. Am I missing something?
Aik-Siong Koh on 8 Jul 2021
Edited: dpb on 8 Jul 2021
MathWorks follows a twice-yearly general release schedule, with one release in the March timeframe and a second in the September timeframe. Each general release synchronizes the full MATLAB® and Simulink® product families, delivering new features and bug fixes for existing products and, when available, new products.
More details are at
(Converted to active link -- dpb)