Yours truly has been a Linux user for the past 20 years. Sometimes, people ask me what Linux distribution they should use as beginners. Well, this is a question that is sometimes hard to answer because there are many factors to consider. There are more than 600 different Linux distributions out there, so choosing might not be that easy. For beginners, i always recommend Linux Ubuntu Gnome. The look and feel is very close to a Windows operating system. The default desktop environment for Ubuntu is Unity but this environment is not recommended for beginners. A Gnome desktop is much better suited for someone starting on a Linux OS.
Furthermore, we need to examine the hardware on which a Linux distro will be installed. A lot of distributions can be tested (live CD) before install, so if there are hardware problems, you would save a lot of time. This writer has for example, tried installing Linux on older machines with AMD processors but the video card would not be supported. This is why i recommend to always install Linux when Intel processors are present.
Another factor to examine is to find out weather or not the Linux distro we choose to install has a software center that enables installation of software that would enhance the Linux experience. As an example, some linux distributions like Kali Linux do not have a software center installed. Although this distribution already has 300 pre-installed applications, it may not reflect the exact needs of the user. Of course, Kali Linux is for advanced users as most of the installs are done in terminal.
The best way to choose is probably by studying the different Linux distributions that are offered. Visit this website and start looking into all the different options that are available. One needs to study a little before getting into Linux, like for example which kind of desktop environment would better suit your needs. The most important thing to remember is to check if a live CD is available (options to try before install). If you have any questions, feel free to contact me, i’ll be more than happy to answer them.
PS: Linux is free and open source!