The issue of drivers since the early 1990s derives from a decision by Microsoft to walk away from Industry Standards to increase profits by forcing people to pay them to be able to have their hardware work with Windows. I'm not sure how far the situation goes with Apple command sets, but for the rest it breaks down this way:
Industry Standard Command Set - used in all Unix and Linux operating systems and hardware intended for use with them.
Windows NT Command Set - for equipment to work out of the box with Windows NT
Windows 9x Command Set - for equipment to work out of the box with Windows 95 / 98 / 98SE
Windows 2000 Command Set - for equipment to work out of the box with Windows 2000 / XP
Windows Vista Command Set - for equipment to work out of the box with Windows Vista / 7
not sure if Win 8 has a new Command Set or is the same as Win Vista.
If the OS has the command sets for all the Windows systems in it then everything is compatible, but MS do NOT work that way. They could have stayed with the one command set or even the industry standard one, but every time they change it they charge companies big bucks for a copy of the new command set so they can make software and hardware that works with the new set of commands.
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