This issue has some similarities with the firefox on linux distro issue (bundling their own versions of libraries etc), although there Mozilla's motivations align much better with the interests of its product's customers (e.g. faster response to security issues, in general). Here, the benefit to the customer is less clear (although utoddl's comment above does provide one possible example of the potential for earlier "Just Works out of the box" availability).
This tension can be eliminated entirely if hardware vendors support driver development by publishing thorough and open developer-oriented documentation for their products. That way they can leave it to the operating system communities to handle driver development. This would serve their customers best.
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