Cathy Malmrose discovered Free Software in 2007, when her son showed her Ubuntu. She realized that she could build computers optimized for GNU/Linux, and now runs ZaReason, a company which sells computers preloaded with Linux.
The recently released Mint 16, nicknamed Petra, might be the perfect Linux desktop for newcomers. At its core is Ubuntu 13.10, but on top of this are desktops Mate and Cinnamon, the latter being the Mint project's homegrown user interface. Ubuntu gives a stable foundations on which to build, allowing the project to focus more on its desktops and less on the underpinnings.