Yes, yes, yes, the title is linkbait – but it’s not inaccurate. Let me explain….
I’m a dyed-in-the-wool Linux user. All my machines run some variant of Linux, usually Ubuntu. So, when a new client asked me to to use Windows XP I nearly quit on the spot! But, after a week of using the ageing OS, it strikes me there are a number of things that XP does better than Ubuntu.
I was able to sideload Ubuntu using Wubi, so these issues all relate to the same machine. All of these issues are relevant to me and may not reflect the typical user.
Multiple Monitor Support
I’ve been using multiple monitors in XP for over 10 years.
Linux has slowly been catching up, but it’s still not quite as good as XP.
XP detected my monitors instantly, no reboot or config file configuring required. It also recovered swiftly when I unplugged my monitor. Ubuntu has come a long way since I started using it, but it often chokes if a monitors is suddenly connected or removed.
BlueTooth is universally rubbish. It’s a protocol designed by committee with no regard for end users. It’s always painful to use. But it’s more usable on XP than Ubuntu.
Sharing files doesn’t require esoteric package installation – and setting up audio was easy.
Mouse Key Remapping
As per one of my previous posts, I need to remap my mouse’s keys. There is literally no way to do this in Ubuntu other than to futz around on the command-line and add arcane commands to mysterious text files.
XP isn’t perfect, but has several programs – including this one which came with my mouse – to help.
This is a highly requested feature in Ubuntu and surely can’t be too hard to implement.
Extended Keyboard Controls
I use a Microsoft 4000 Ergonomic keyboard and most of the buttons work on Ubuntu. The problem lies in a bug first reported in 2007 – X11 won’t recognise keycodes about 255. There are some hacky work arounds, but it’s really unsatisfactory that newer hardware won’t work in Linux.
Android Debugging / Hacking
Doing Android debugging in XP just involved plugging the phone into a USB cable.
Android Debugging on Ubuntu? Get thee to the command line and hope that UDEV hasn’t changed since the guide you’re following was written!
Indeed, all the good Android hacking or upgrading tools seem to require Windows. Some work in WINE, some don’t. I’m usually quite happy with the selection of software that Linux has – but for some esoteric software, Windows is often the only way.
I love Ubuntu, and I wouldn’t return to XP for anything. But it’s obvious there are a number of basic flaws which aren’t being fixed. I see this a lot – in Android especially – that the cool new features which are fun to program are given priority over fixing the rather basic bugs.