I remember in the heady days of my desktop publishing job that I was able to read Windows disks on the Macs with no problems. Does linux have the same capabilities?
Yes, Linux supports reading disks formatted in about a gazillion types of filesystems, many which even most computer savvy people have never heard of. Linux can read and write to all Windows-formatted floppies. It can read and write to Windows harddrives formatted with the VFAT filesystem (the most common until recently). It can read (and will be able to write to pretty soon) Windows hard drives formatted with the NTFS filesystem (the NT and Windows XP one).