Ubuntu uses a combination of driver backports and newer kernel versions
in LTS releases.
As Clint, Philipp and you say, I was wrong.
However, I don't see that as an insurmountable argument against Debian LTSs. It "just" means the kernel and X/Wayland/nouveau/radeon teams need more people. Either that, or we "just" do not support new hardware for LTSs and let that to the vendor (not ideal but better have Debian LTS with no new hardware support than no Debian LTS, IMHO).
The fact that I had never needed an LTS dot release made me think. I've been installing Ubuntu on servers and desktops since 4.10 at three companies and dozens of customers and never noticed/required a dot release for LTS:
- On the desktop, it makes sense: we've almost always gone for the latest Ubuntu release, LTS or not (the only cases where we have used LTS for desktop was for military use and in that case the hardware was so old it was already old and well supported when LTS was released :-) )
- On the server, we always gone for very standard hardware and always installed the latest LTS. I guess the 2-year gap between LTSs is small enough to support newer hardware and the 5-year support term is big enough to justify the investment.
Maybe we don't even need to make alternate Debian releases LTS but keep releasing every ~2 years and make every release a 5-year support LTS. Whatever we do, IMHO we need to do something. Debian is losing relevance as an "installation" release and it's becoming more and more an "upstream for distributions" (Ubuntu, Mint, etc), like SourceForge or GitHub are for us :-(