Yeh, some applications in Linux do something similar .. take LibreOffice for example, if you open a file called mydoc.odt it will create a hidden lock file in the same directory called .~lock.mydoc.odt# (where the "." at the beginning makes it a hidden file) .. to stop it being edited by others.
Meanwhile if any changes are made to the document, and you have Autorecovery enabled, a backup will be created at ~/.config/libreoffice/3/user/backup/Untitled 1.odt_0.odt .. the number in red will count up in increments every time it is autosaved.
LibreOffice also supports versioning.
As in Windows .. only certain apps do this
But the files Keith was referring to were backups made by gedit .. where it creates a backup with a tilde suffix when you save a file .. it's a backup, not a lock or even a recovery, as it doesn't lock the file and if the machine went down before you saved changes, the backup wouldn't be created.