Posted 06 December 2011 - 08:25 AM
there will definitely be equivalent tools for you on the linux distributions. Eg instead of Microsoft Office, there will be Libre Office, instead of outlook you may use thunderbird or evolution. Firefox is available on linux and the basic tools of adobe are too. If you want to use Adobe Photoshop (and don't need it on a professional level), gimp may be a good alternative for you that runs on linux. All those programs are free for you to test (obviously) and except evolution they also are available for Windows, so you can try and take a look at them without installing linxu necessarily.
Obviously there will be differences between the programs you currently used and the alternatives you mentioned. Things will be similar, but definitely not the same and you will need to take some time to get used to them before you get back to your old productivity.
The only difference between Kubuntu and Ubuntu is the display-manager. They both use roughly the same amount of resources nowadays. If you are looking for some leightweight alternatives, take a look at the pages of xubuntu and lubuntu, which run display managers that need less resources. All of these distributions are ubuntu-distributions, meaning they come with the same tools available and you essentially only need to decide by resources used and the look you like best. They will also offer different default programs, but you can always download other additional programs (such as firefox and thunderbird for example) if you do not like the default app.
(The same is also true for OpenSuse and Mandriva of course, but I know less about those, so I can't guarantee for anything.)
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