Kernel support question / need of advice

I have played around with different installations (this took up a lot of time) and finally I would like to stick to Ubuntu Mate 16.04.1 LTS to enjoy a stable system with more or less no further work to be done for the next few years, though the kernel 4.8 in Mate 16.10 is supporting my hardware better than the kernel 4.4 in UM 16.04.1.

In February 2017 UM 16.04.02 will be released with the kernel 4.8 by default, but this kernel will get only a few more months of support ( Am I wrong?), while the 4.4-series (UM 16.04.1 LTS) will be supported for 5 years.

So, should I update my kernel? Or make another clean installation in Feb 2017 with UM 16.04.2? Or is it for sure that better drivers will be backported by regular software updates also in UM 16.04.1?

Hmm, looks like you're right... I've looked more closely at this graph and was quite surprised. I thought they'd be supporting .2, .3 and .4 kernels like before, until the next LTS release, but this graph tells us it's not so. I didn't pay attention to this before...

So, the support for these new non-LTS kernels is only 6 months for each kernel. Not sure about graphics stacks (mesa/xorg/etc.), but I suspect it'll be the same for them. I hope we'll get the updated info about all this in Feb 2017.

Thank you for the answer.
If true, this decision (to support just the LTS kernel for 5 years) isn’t the luckiest. I am pretty sure that most people appreciate to use a bomb-proof distro. Kernel updates, lots of fixes, upgrade installations are always a little bit risky and time-devouring.

Should I stick to UM 16.04.1 in hope of getting better driver support by upcoming updates instead of installing 4.8? I think so.

Even if each kernel now has only 6 months of updates, I don’t think Canonical will allow them to remain without support before releasing a new one. I think what will happen is that after installing the lts enablement stack you’ll get a newer kernel faster (after 6 months) than in previous releases, that is what I understand from the charts at least.

Thank you for the input.
Perhaps I am terrible wrong or just confused, but is it possible that Canonical has changed its strategy? One LTS version (16.04.1/kernel 4.4) for those who wish to have as few effort as possible for the upcoming 5 years, while the others are upgraded every six months?

The only thing I see different is the shorter lifetime of each kernel in the lts enablement stack, but on 12.04 and 14.04 the process is the same, only that some kernels have lasted a few more months.
But I don’t think it means more effort will be required, you’ll just get newer kernels with your updates, instead of only point release updates. I can only see this being problematic if some kind of regression appeared that affected your hardware. The other packages remain the same for all of the 16.04.x versions, it is only that newer kernels are made available since I guess it is reasonable to expect that a release that is claimed to be supported for 5 years keeps up with some of the new hardware that comes out during that timespan.

You are right and I have messed up something. I will have a look at my update center. It’s more than unlikely that such a sophisticated and consumer friendly distribution like Ubuntu (Mate) would make something wrong.