Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
If you are a long time user of Windows or Mac and want to try Linux, there is a high chance that your first distro will be either Ubuntu, Linux Mint or Fedora since these distros are very popular. However, there are some other distros that are more suitable for beginners in my opinion. All of these distros work out of the box, come with a very friendly, easy-to-use desktop and are super easy to install and very well-supported.
In my opinion, Zorin OS is the best distro for Windows users who want to try Linux the first time. The default desktop of Zorin OS looks very similar to the Windows 7 desktop. It has a tool called “Zorin look changer” that can be used to switch to Windows XP, MacOS, Gnome 2 ... desktop. Like Windows, Zorin OS has many different editions, the Core version is totally free but you will have to pay some bucks to get the Premium versions.
Since Zorin OS is based on Ubuntu, its performance and hardware compatibility are just as good as Ubuntu.