Actually Linux is working great as a desktop environment...for anyone who wants to test one out get the Linux Mint 17.1 Rebecca with Cinnamon desktop environment. You can run it on your computer in a TRY mode which will not change anything on your computer but runs LIVE off a CD instead. If you choose to install the OS it will erase Win or Mac off your machine -- so be sure, there's no going back. You can also try Linux by installing VirtualBox first and then the Linux distro on that, keeping your original OS to boot into as you wish. Some people keep both sytems on one machine and boot into whichever they please. I have 3 other computers which are loaded up with Win OS's and artwork programs which run on them offline only -- so I'm not concerned. I'm running Linux on a dedicated computer and use it for all everyday tasks, the internet, etc. and everything in Mint functions and looks just as it would using Win.

The caution needed is in choosing the distribution (version) for what you want to do with it. If you have to work with a company and their systems are Win or Mac there could be compatibility issues. I have none of that to even consider. Also consider what programs you want to continue using and if those will work in Linux or if you are willing to use the programs that are Linux tested instead...again, in my case, that's not a problem as I've found Linux-compatible art programs that do what I've been doing all along in commercial art programs -- for free and without bloatware or other intrusive items running in them. No forced costly updates.

If you want to continue using Xara software and can't get along without it I'd suggest either stay with your Win or Mac for now or use VirtualBox (try it out first)...or just run a Linux distro on a cheap laptop as a guinea pig first. Newer laptops' (5 years old and less) hardware are the most compatible but some have resurrected older computers with Linux. pays to go slow, consider your hardware and software, and learn as much as possible before trying to migrate to Linux. There's tons of info on YouTube to begin with.
I love it!