I've been using Windows for every PC I've ever owned for over 20 years.
So my questions are going to be from the "what the huh?" perspective on Linux and Ubuntu
First, I need confirmation about the rumors I've collected:
I've heard that Ubuntu is very stable and has good support. I know it is free, that much I'm certain of.
I've heard that using WINE, you can run any Windows-based software.
Now I used MS-DOS before Windows, so I'm familiar with the MS-DOS command line. And I've used a tiny bit of Unix, just enough to know that it uses a whole other set of commands to do similar things as MS-DOS.
Now, the general summary of the hundreds of questions I could come up with is this:
How steep is the learning curve if someone who is very familiar with Windows, tried to switch entirely over to Linux, probably using what appears to me to be the best supported and stable Linux OS, Ubuntu?
How secure is it compared to say, Windows 7?
Are there any obvious advantages or disadvantages to using Linux over Windows (that are less than obvious to me)?
What can someone accomplish with Linux/Ubuntu that is any better than one could accomplish with Windows?
Are there any hardware compatibility issues with Linux/Ubuntu?
How effective is WINE at running Windows software? This question is going to effect my decision a lot.
Feel free to add anything, link for me any web resources that would good to have ... and thank you for taking a moment to help me understand.
I just want to add a few things.
Ubuntu for the most part is stable and has good support. It is backed by committed developers and a large community. It works as intended. The LTSes are the most stable. However, that does not mean, it does not experience errors every now and then. It is not error proof. For the time I have been using it, there has been times where I had to research heavily to fix an error. Make sure you are specific in what you mean by "stable". It is stable in terms of system functions? Yes, it rarely breaks. Is it stable on hardware? Yes, if you use what is supported. Is it stable with all open source programs? No. Some open sources programs can make the system very unstable or just don't work well.
Wine is not a go-to for Windows programs. Even with the programs tested to work with it, it still falls short of "good enough". You are better off using open source equivalents to MS programs. Sometimes you can get lucky but it is not reliable.
Ubuntu or any Linux OS is "NOT" a replacement for windows. It is an open OS. Meaning, it is designed to let the "user" decide what "they" want. You use linux because of a special need not to replace something else. Every OS has a specific function. You must find the function that suites you.
Ubuntu is good for a Linux-based desktop if you want to use Linux as a desktop OS. Make sure you know what you are trying to accomplish.