this exist in the linux kernel too but the biggest difference is that microsoft[even more mac] only test on a selected set of hardware the rest of the drivers are tested by the hardware vendors and this problem is not unique to linux either all windows version has suffered from very nasty regression and bugs too[dunno in which world you live in tho ] hence that is why you have drivers hotfixes and service packs/critical updates all the time[they don't put it there for fun you know]
Originally Posted by madjr
btw linux have LTS releases wich are very well tested[3.2 series] and is used in all commercial / stable distros[rhel/debian/ubuntu LTS/etc], so if you want a stable/tested software stick with a stable distro but if you wanna live bleeding edge don't whine and go report bugs if you find them
note that kernel releases are not releases or final releases like in other OSes but more like bleeding edge but usable enough for test the next stuff, distros are the ones that test those kernel to death and stick to them for a nice time until the next one is ready for produccion systems[named red hat and debian].
so you can't compare linux kernel to windows[one is a kernel and the other is an OS], the correct would be redhat/debian to windows[both are OSes one with a linux kernel the other with an NT kernel] and in that sense redhat and debian are very stable [more than windows in many cases] and enterprise proven
for your information windows do the same with the NT kernel you just can't get the next release since is closed to microsoft employees only while linux dev happens realtime and openly