Dubious about replacing your old familiar Microsoft Windows?
Worried that you'll be following a steep learning curve?
Then don't be.
You can make the transition gradually as I did.
All the programs that I would recommend that you use on Linux, are available for Windows.
My recommended programs are:
Email and Calendar
Mozilla Thunderbird with the Lightning Calendar extension.
This combination is now perfectly usable, with some features that even Outlook doesn't have – the Calendar can subscribe to an external sharing site such as icalx.com where sharers can have full read/write function and the calendar can be accessed not only from any other computer running the same software but from your web browser as well.
Get Mozilla Thunderbird - http://www.mozillamessaging.com/en-GB/thunderbird/
There are two choices here, both with Microsoft windows editions.
On the one hand we have the original Open Source Office Suite from Oracle called appropriately enough, Open Office, (or OOo for short) and the newcomer on the block called Libreoffice (LO).
Currently there's not a lot to choose between them, but some folks are having slight misgivings about the direction in which Oracle may be thinking of taking OOo.
They both are easy to use, easily as good as MS Office 2003, (but without Outlook, but saying that, you can use whatever email client you like), and, with the important comfort of the old familiar menu system, unlike the ribbon introduced in Microsoft Office 2007 and later.
There are also useful extensions you can add to export and import from Googledocs for example, and to publish documents direct to one of most of the major blog sites.
Get OpenOffice - http://www.openoffice.org/
Get LibreOffice - http://www.libreoffice.org/
Now most of you will have heard of Mozilla Firefox, but of course there are others.
The major ones that have both Windows and Linux versions are Google Chrome and Opera. Google Chrome is a fast, lightweight browser that takes a little bit of getting used to if you have used nothing but Internet Explorer, whereas Firefox will be less of a learning curve.
Opera is not just a Web Browser but also an email client and a News Reader.
Get Firefox - http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/
Get Google Chrome - http://www.google.com/chrome
Get Opera - http://www.opera.com/
The point of all this is that you have CHOICE.
You don't HAVE to use what is put in front of you. You don't HAVE to use whatever Microsoft suggests you use.
The whole point here is that you can use what suits YOU and not what a large impersonal multi-national corporation says you SHOULD use.
Good luck, and remember – the point is to regain control of your computer and software for yourself. And to have fun!