Some Windows XP users might be considering Linux MInt as a replacement operating system. But just replacing the operating system isn't enough, you'll also need Linux applications that will replace the ones you used in Windows. ZDNet has a roundup of Linux Mint applications that might fill the void when making your move from Windows XP to Linux Mint.
I'm not going to lie and tell you that all your programs are available on native Linux. They're not.
Now, there are ways to run Windows applications on Linux. Indeed, you can run Windows itself on Linux. But I'll take up those methods in my next XP to Mint story. For today, I'm going to focus on native Linux and Web-based programs that you can use to duplicate your Windows XP software functionality.
Finances: GnuCash or Mint.com
Instant Messaging: Pidgin
Office Suite: LibreOffice
Browser: Firefox or ChromeMore at ZDNet
The list in the article is solid, and will probably work very well for most Windows XP users. However, don't forget that there's a huge number of other applications available in the Linux Mint Software Manager. Be sure to check the categories, as well as the featured list. You may find lots of other useful software there that could work well to replace your Windows XP applications.
Wine and Linux gaming
Muktware takes a look at the use of Wine to run Windows games.
So can WINE fullfill all your Windows needs? That is hard to say. For most people, it’ll fill most of their needs most of the time. If you don’t mind a little time getting things settled in, it can be an extremely powerful tool, but be prepared that you may run into bugs and issues. Most of the time though, it will be quite obvious what works and what does not, and you may find yourself surprised at what works flawlessly “out of the box”. And being able to play Civilization IV while waiting for SteamOS to get here is quite a pleasant feeling, isn’t it?More at Muktware
At this point I'd like to think that the need for Wine will slowly fade as Steam takes off and more games run natively in Linux. But I suppose Wine will still be useful for some games so do take a look at it if you find you need it.