Well actually, Windows has version numbers too but it is not shown to the user unless you ask for it (eg. winver), but to be fair, the version of the linux kernel is usually not shown to the user either unless you ask for it (eg. uname).
well I see my kernel version every time I reboot since it shows up in grub. Probably only a debian/ubuntu based problem though..
ASCII a stupid question, you get an EBCDIC answer.