I have faced this issue with 10.5 also.
is it ? It looks like it is working fine for me...if you share your scenario, you will get some help from the forum people/experts.
Actually one of my colleague had faced this issue for "MS Access" , with extract COUNTD is working but not with live connection.
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You are correct that the Jet driver on a live connection has limitations. One of those is COUNTD, MEDIAN is another.
From at least version 9.0 (perhaps earlier as suggested?) Tableau stopped using the Jet driver and implemented its own. There were a few reasons for this but, speed, functionality and compatibility with Mac were big ones. You can still dial back to the legacy connection if you desire.
Handy for Custom SQL.
The COUNTD function has always worked when using a extract.