"Question: If one were to do the big shift from Microsoft
Windows software to, say, Linux, what should one do about all the
files he has accumulated throughout the years, all written in
Microsoft Windows software? Can these files be read by Linux? Will
there be any loss of data, or perhaps corruption of the files?
"Answer: This is actually three related questions, so
let’s take them one at a time. First, back up all the data
files created with Microsoft Windows software, because you will
most likely still be able to use them even when you move to Linux.
The most common data files that people create are word processing
documents, spreadsheets, presentations and graphics
files—artwork or photos. Most of these file formats created
by Windows programs can also be read and written to by equivalent
programs in Linux."