Actually, you can use many usb devices via Windows XP from VMWare. I have a cheap scanner that doesn't work fully in Linux -- due to some of the features being in software. I can connect the device via VMWare and use the XP USB driver from there. I scan into an SMB share on my ubuntu box using GIMP 2.0 in XP under VMWare. It's a good way to support crappy USB devices until they get a proper driver.