> Nobody would seriously try to claim that 'the latest 64-bit version of Windows no longer runs my 16-bit Windows applications from 1992' is in any way equivalent to 'my networking stops working every six months'.
Ok, slow down. If you have a run-of-the-mill, garden-variety network configuration, it will not stop working every six months (mine worked without modification for the last ten years or so). AND if you have some complicated, exotic configuration with strange and mysterious drivers, then every Windows update or hotpatch is an adventure.
I know that for some video configurations, things were far rougher on Linux than on Windows.
> There are probably some other examples of extremely cheap hardware with drivers that work in one Windows release but not the next, however in the vast majority of cases that hardware either doesn't work in Linux *at all*, or works well enough to satisfy a tick-list but not well enough to actually use (eg a webcam that manages 30fps in Windows, but 2 fps in Linux). I'm aware that in such a case it's the manufacturer of that crappy hardware that's at fault, but then to make a fair comparison you need to acknowledge that in the case of Windows as well.
Actually, I had problems on Linux on the "extremely expensive and especialized hardware" range more often than on the "dollar-store hardware" range.
> Statements like yours are a textbook example of why Linux - and Free Software in general - is not taken seriously by normal computer users, since the only thing you are interested in is nursing your damaged pride at all costs. The very idea that a competitor might be better in some way must not be entertained under any circumstances, with the inevitable result that real deficiencies cannot be fixed because they cannot even be acknowledged.
People acknowledge and fix those problems much more often in the Linux world than in the Windows/OSX worlds. Oh, there are lots of hardware best supported on Windows and OSX. The model where the hardware maker is usually also the driver maker works faster, even if it does not work so well.