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.
The release naming convention reflects the twice-yearly schedule. The release name consists of the calendar year followed by “a” for the first release of the year, or “b” for the second. For example, the March 2013 release was named Release 2013a (or R2013a); the September 2013 release was named Release 2013b (or R2013b).
Several weeks before the general release, users who are subscribed to MathWorks Software Maintenance Service will be notified about access to a prerelease version of the upcoming release. (Not available for student, home, and primary and secondary school licenses.)
The prerelease period gives you an opportunity to find out what has changed in the new release, test it, and plan accordingly. Using the prerelease software also gives you a chance to report any problems in the release, serving as a final validation of release quality.
Once the general release becomes available, all subscribers to MathWorks Software Maintenance Service will be notified that the new release is available for download. Between general releases, new and updated products may also be offered. Subscribers will be notified of any downloads available for their products.
A twice-yearly release delivery model offers a number of benefits: