Here's a paragraph that stopped me dead in my tracks. It's from Attacks on and Countermeasures for USB Hardware Token Devices
an earnest investigation of PC style USB security cards done a couple of years ago in which the investigators discovered them to be somewhat worse than useless - kind of sad really given the number of people now using them, but irrelevant to the snippet I want to draw to your attention.
Here's what they wrote:
As it happens, the latency times of the device drivers on the Windows operating system are too large to get accurate timing measurements from the USB key. It takes too long for the USB command to reach the key and for its response to get back to the Windows application. Because of this, we developed custom device drivers and kernel module for use with the Linux operating system. These custom components allow for a more directed control of the device thus reducing the time delay between the sending of the USB command and the reception of the command by the USB key.
These people are awfully sane - but I think that paragraph tells you everything you need to know about Linux: an army well across its Rubicon but still shouting "We can, We do, and It works!"