Simple answer is yes, I've been using it for years, I have got Windows on another partition, but rarely use it. Which Linux is it? Only there are a large number of different types and the one given away by the mag might not be the best one if you are just starting out with Linux.
My local LUG (Linux Users Group) has a number of older people now using Linux and without exception, they are surprised and delighted with it. I'm delighted to say, our membership ranges in age from 16 to well over 60!
As has been pointed out though, careful distribution (distro) choice will have an effect on the impression you receive.
Like octal, I use it (almost) exclusively and only use Windows when I'm forced to and there is no other choice.
This post has been submitted via my primary computer which runs Debian Linux, though not necessarily the best choice for a new user. There are more "Windows like" distros that will seem more familiar to use, although ultimately, it's still Linux "under the bonnet".
Good starting distros include (but are not limited to) PCLinuxOS, Kubuntu, SimplyMepis and the KDE version of Linux Mint. All are very similar to Windows in their presentation.
As mentioned by Fruit Bat, there are many Linux alternatives to some programs you may be using on Windows. However, using wine (this is a program on Linux), you can run quite a few Windows programs as well such as Microsoft Office or MSN Messenger if you prefer to use them.
but quite honestly, Linux has home grown applications that will do all that Windows will do and more.
For example, as already mentioned, Open Office is a more than adequate replacement for MS Office. amsn is a great replacement for MSN Messenger and is almost identical in look and operation. The Gimp is a great replacement for Photoshop for all but the most discerning, k3b will make Nero look sick as a dog and the list goes on.
The whole crux is, why try and run something not designed for Linux, in Linux, when there are plenty of other options and all of them free!