I didn't ask if they'd make a good choice; I asked if it would make them give up on the idea of buying a car at all, because "it's not worth the effort to find out what [car] to use." I can't say I've ever heard of that happening, but I'm willing to bet it has happened at least once. I can't see it being a big problem, however: searching for Linux on Google brings up, after Wikipedia, the result "Ubuntu: The world's most popular free OS." If I were a novice and I saw that, I'd figure "hey, a billion flies can't be wrong" and head for the download section. Searching for which Linux should I choose - an autocompleted entry, I note, meaning it's a common search term - brings up as its first hit this extremely useful post from Linux.org - if our theoretical novice didn't know enough to make a decision at the start, they will by the time they hit the end of the post. Even if they skim-read, there's a nice big "the most popular Linux distributions are" list near the bottom: just click one of those, hit 'download,' and you're done. There's another thing you're missing about Linux which is unique to free, libre and open source software (FLOSS) in general: there's no risk factor. If I'm buying a car, I need to be sure I'm making the right decision: I'm about to drop £8,000 or more on a vehicle I'm keeping for the next few years at least, and if I decide I don't like it a week in - I bought the Smart Car, and suddenly realise it's entirely unsuitable for use in my land-based invasion plans 'cos it keeps getting stuck on the trenches - I'm shafted. With Linux, you don't have that problem 'cos it costs you nothing but time. Let's say I download Ubuntu, then decide Shuttleworth's a tit and abandon it for Linux Mint; a week later, I'm feeling bold so I try Arch. Whoops, that just terrified me so it's off to Puppy Linux, perhaps with a bit of Gentoo in a VM so I can flex my skills. Total monetary cost for picking up those five operating systems: zero. I'm not saying choice won't scare anyone off; I'm merely saying I doubt it's as a big a problem as you're suggesting.