On this page, you will find things related to using linux as a desktop which might be helpfull.


First off, which linux is good for you ?

A great way of trying them out (assuming you are on windows or linux or solaris x86 ) is downloading virtualbox and try them out, one by one, side by side.
Get virtualbox here : http://virtualbox.org

Virtualbox is completely safe, it wont damage your current windows/linux/mac install. The only restriction is that accelerated 3d graphics (1st person shooter games and such ) are not or limited supported, depending on your current desktop OS. (no 3D on windows hosts, for example)
Below a list of software apps, and what the package / software is called. Often obvious, but some names are not very intuitive to put it mildly......
libre office 3.x
used to be openoffice, before that star office
complete office suite.
reads and writes practically any microsoft document.
very good spreadsheet, very compatible with excel.
works with exchange server as well has diary / calendar too..
works well, simple mail prog, no agenda and such
multi media
plays anything audio, video

PS3 Media Server
to stream media on your mac/windows/linux system to a tv set via a PS3 or other DLNA client e.g, your android phone or tablet.
digikam, showfoto
manipulation etc of digital images. very nice.
photography RAW format
only app I know in linux that reads almost any RAW cameraformat. Why UF raw ? the gentlemen that wrote it has initials U.F.
audio recording
audacity, ardour
works very well, also available on windows
multitrack studio, effects, sound recording from your soundcard, but also editing / converting of WAV - PCM audio files. de-noising, de-clicking, etcetera.
see for yourself. really good, and available on windows, mac and linux (written in java, potentiall  runs on anything)
running windows apps
wine (free)
crossover (paid-for GUI interface around a custom-configured wine)
runs a lot of windows apps well, or well enough. check out at winehq.org - codeweavers.com what it can and cannot do.
I run games on it like steam CSS, HL2, Redbaron3d, Il2 sturmovik, and occassionaly office stuff like Excel, Word, Powerpoint. Visio works, but not very well. (slow interface)
Excel, Word etc work well, but do not expect OLE and related to work well beyond office 2003, it has hiccups, and in some cases  doesn't work at all.