There are a lot of misconceptions about GNU/Linux. One myth that is constantly being propagated is that Linux is hard to use and that only techies know how to use it. This is not true especially today, when there are distributions of GNU/Linux that focus on ease of use. People that are making these statements are most likely not properly informed about GNU/Linux or are using the wrong distribution that is not geared towards them.
It is important to let people know that anyone can use Linux and that it is user friendly. All over the Internet there are articles of all kinds of people using GNU/Linux, ranging from young children to older generation. If they can do it, everyone can. My seventy eight year old grandfather also uses GNU/Linux and he has no problem with it.
One of the issues for beginners is that when someone wants to try GNU/Linux they don't know which distribution to download. There are so many to choose from and it is important to choose the right one. If you download and install a distribution that is geared towards professional Linux users, then you will be confused. For beginners I would recommend Mint Linux or Ubuntu distribution of GNU/Linux. These are very easy to install and setup on your computer. They have many applications and features that you will be impressed with. Everything is click and select as you would do in Windows or Mac OS. You do not need to type commands if you don't wish to. Installing applications is also convenient by using the add/remove application or synaptic package manager. You can also download .deb files from the Internet and they are also easy to install. These distributions are very popular and have a great community of people that will answer any questions you may have. The Mint Linux motto is "It works right out of the box" and Ubuntu's is "It should just work". So definitely these distros are focusing on ease of use and you should try them out if you are afraid that GNU/Linux is only for techies and hobbyists.
Linux is used by many individuals ranging from amateurs to professionals. It is not an operating system aimed only for programmers anymore. I would suggest that people try the free operating system for themselves and make their own opinion instead of listening to other people. Below are links to Ubuntu and Mint Linux. All you need is a blank CD to download the image file and start exploring the world of open source. You will be impressed on how feature rich GNU/Linux is. Check them out and enjoy.
Mint Linux website.