I am going to write up a few of the things that make Ubuntu Linux a more comfortable software development, writing, research, and having fun environment. I hope that readers of this blog add their own suggestions in comments (remember: I moderate comments to avoid publishing SPAM so it might take a short while before I see your comments and approve them).
I use Evernote and the Kindle reader a lot and there are no officially supported Linux clients. Evernote has an open source client client NixNote that is OK but I prefer to simply use the web interface on the Chrome web browser. This is a little slower than a native client with local copies of everything but it is OK. I also use the Evernote Chrome plugin. For reading books I buy for the Kindle the Chrome Kindle plugin works fine, especially since I own a Kindle device and my Samsung Galaxy 3 III phone (with 1280×720 screen resolution!!) is also good to read with. One serious problem is watching Netflix movies on Linux. I get by using our large TV with Google TV or my iTV (a gift from my stepson last year). Also watching Netflix and Hulu+ on my Samsung Galaxy 3 III is fine if no one else is watching. I also have an iPad 2 I bought last year that works well for watching video; I am planning to swap this out for a Nexus tablet that has a smaller screen but higher resolution than my iPad 2.
Other tools I use everyday work fine on Ubuntu Linux (sometimes with some adjustments): IntelliJ, RubyMine, LaTex tools, Emacs, git, etc.
For many years I wrote copious work notes in a physical square deal style laboratory notebook. I switched 20 years ago to using plain text files for copious work notes on everything that I do. Now I organize notes differently using a combination of Google Docs (back them up often!) and RTF formatted text files that are a little better for me than plain text because it makes it easier to tag different kinds of content with styled text and different colors – this helps me find things faster. I like to use AbiWord to quickly open, edit, and view RTF files – faster and lighter weight than Open Office or Libre Office.
For a lot of what I do there is little difference between using Linux, OS X, or Windows. Interacting with customers using github and Google shared documents is the same. To be clear, which desktop (or laptop operating system people use is their own choice. For me, being able to apt-get install software and have the same environment on my laptops as on my servers make using Linux a great advantage. For most casual computer users obviously Windows or OS X is a better choice for them.