Most of the non-technical things you've mentioned will be fine, but I can't comment on the technical bits as I have never used that software. For ms office, there's always office 365 in your browser, too.
If you get a Windows 10 laptop, dual booting is always an option and is about as easy to setup as a full installation.
An Ubuntu-based distribution (I'm a fan of xubuntu) will be easy to install and use.
Using a terminal to set up/do things involves a learning curve, but there is lots of documentation online and most questions will have already been asked on the Linux forums. pm133 is right in that you see some snarky 'read documentation/duplicate question/provide reproducible code' type answers, but don't let that put you off.
Hardware-wise, HP laptops sometimes need a lot of configuring from the terminal to get wireless Internet and printers. Most big brands otherwise just work fine straight from installation.
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