New name obviously, because we’ve jumped to our new naming model to align with the calendar year as opposed to version number. You might be thinking “So what?” but it’s a significant change in the way we getting software to customer. Mike Dietrich blogged about this at length here so I won’t repeat what has been said, but in TL;DR form:
More frequent releases, with smaller amounts of change per release
In this way, the approach lets us focus more of solidifying existing features, and being able to quickly respond to bugs that arise.
So 18c is more an incremental release on 12.2 (in fact, internally it was referred to as “22.214.171.124” for most of it’s build cycle) focussed on stability and hardening of existing features.
Don’t worry, we still managed to pack some cool new things in there – which you can read about in the New Features guide.
I’ll be doing some blog posts and videos on the 18c content soon, but here’s something to whet your appetite