This is a important problem posted by Jordi Sánchez regarding the factors that play against the expansion of Linux between the less expert users: Linux makes us think. As paradoxical as it seems, that is a factor against Linux and we can find a similar idea in another area, web usability. Steve Krug has a good book on this ("Don't make me think"). In the beginning of his book you can find that that if a user must ask itself how your site works your site has a problem, not the user and that's because his intent is not to know how your website works but to find information.
The mission of a normal computer user is neither to install an operating system nor to know how it works, but to use the computer for his specific necessities: to publish texts, to browse the Internet, etc. Normally he will choose the way that makes this less difficult and, still in many occasions, that means to install Windows. To use Windows implies “to think little”: normally the last version available is chosen and installed, it includes the software needed to browse the Web (Internet Explorer) and in addition the user knows that almost any hardware is going to be compatible with Windows. He may know that Windows is not the optimal solution for him, but is the one that solves his necessities with less effort.
What about Linux? It is well known that it can have technical, economic or ethical advantages on Windows. But it makes us think and make too many decisions:
- What hardware we need?
- What distribution should we choose? (and there are many)
- How will we maintain and update our system?
- What desktop environment should we choose?
- Why I need to compile applications?
- and so on...