Support for older MATLAB versions on new operating systems

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David White
David White on 22 Nov 2021
Edited: John D'Errico on 22 Nov 2021
For example, should I expect MATLAB 2019b/2020a to work on MacOS Big Sur? (to me the table implies no, but anecdotally I think they do...)
Is there somewhere else I should be looking for this information? Or do MathWorks have a general statement on whether existing versions are likely to work with new operating systems?
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Star Strider
Star Strider on 22 Nov 2021
The quoted link is to the best (and most recent) reference. This has come up recently as well with respect to Windows 11 so while Micro$oft kindly downloaded it on my computers already, I’ve not yet installed it because there appear to be compatibility problems with MATLAB. I’d rather have MATLAB be fully-operational on Windows 10 than have whatever new features Windows 11 has to offer, and problems with MATLAB.

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Answers (1)

John D'Errico
John D'Errico on 22 Nov 2021
Edited: John D'Errico on 22 Nov 2021
Um, lets be rational here.
Can The MathWorks control how operating system X changes? They wrote their software to run on X, release 10. Now release 11 comes out. It has changes made so that it will run on their new computers, possibly using completely different chips. Maybe the new chips use 128 bit addressing, and no longer support 64 bit addresses. Can The MathWorks control this?
Can they predict what problems will happen on all combinations of various OS versions? What if your new computer has a brand new qu-bit graphics card or CPU?
The point is, MathWorks cannot predict in advance exactly which problems you will have if you try old software on new computers & OS versions. Can they continue to support every old release, so that they will work on new OS versions? New computer variations? (That is often what seems to drive some OS changes.) Of course not. That would very quickly become impossible to maintain.
As it is, there are sometimes cases where a user has some different configuration of software on supported systems, or some unexpected hardware configuration, thus causing an unexpected problem. Those problems they will try very hard to resolve. But they cannot maintain old releases. To the extent possible, they offer that table, telling you which systems and computer versions are supported. If the table says nothing, beware there mat be issues.
The point is, it might work. You can try out the old release. If it is not too old, then it might have a chance. Really old releases will not have much of a chance. There may be some occasional problems that you can tolerate. If you cannot tolerate any issues, then you are probably out of luck.

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