I've installed Suse Linux 8.1 and, yes, it was very easy to do so.
As an operating system it does more or less what XP does but in a totally different way. It's fast and stable but takes very much longer to boot.
Almost all the software you require (Office, Graphics, CD burning etc) come with it or are fairly easily installed.
Don't expect to play any cutting edge games though.
You will find it a steep learning curve but, if you keep at it, it will become a very interesting passtime!