I'm sorry, but practical experience tells me you're wrong. I had a driver for a SCSI card that was fine in NT 4, fine in 2000, did not even load on XP; when I followed instructions to force load the driver, it immediately bluescreened. I've since thrown the card out, because the chip wasn't supported in Linux, either.
Well I am speaking from the developer's perspective, not as a user with a closed source driver. The changes between different Microsoft kernels are infrequent, mostly backwards compatible and are well documented. (Vista broke sound and graphics and who knows what else, but it is not like it was unexpected or undocumented).
So, a transition between Microsoft OS versions requires some amount of development work, but the stable API makes that work fairly predictable and routine, plus it doesn't happen frequently. At least that has been my first hand experience.
Of course, if you are a user with a closed source driver you are generally out of luck - but that's an issue separate from the stable API.
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