It's a fair point that even having multiple clients could be a bit overwhelming, but people read about Bitcoin in the news, they search for Bitcoin on their favourite search engine, it'll take them to bitcoin.org. If they can't find a good client there they'll just assume there are none.
I totally agree.
When someone wants to try out "this bitcoin thing they just heard about
" they are not going to jump through a lot of hoops to get going. We have a few minutes (at best) to let them install and run the software. It is all about eliminating barriers of entry. Once a new user has tried out a "simple wallet" and had their first success with Bitcoin they will start looking for more advanced stuff.
However, as we have learned from MyBitcoin (and others), we cannot and should not place too much trust in centralized services. The temptation is simply too big when dealing with something that represents real value.
Fortunately the community has developed an impressive number of alternative clients that are swift to install and easy to use. Among those swift'n'easy wallets we should promote the ones where the user does not risk another MyBitcoin (god forbid).
Oh, did I mention that BitcoinSpinner
for Android installs and is operational in less than a minute and keeps your private key on your device. It was designed with the above in mind from scratch. It does
rely on a central server to send/receive coins, but you can always evacuate your private key independent of the server and import it in for instance MultiBit. (yes, I am the main dev of BitcoinSpinner)
Blockchain.info has similar offerings for Web/Android/iPhone and looks very promising.
If the Satoshi client was completely satisfactory to everyone it might not be a big deal, but for performance/features/other reasons it seems that multiple desktop clients are here to stay. Not to mention that Satoshis code would need a lot of work to run well on mobiles, so there'd need to be at least a page for them.
Simply put I think we should have:
1. a platform chooser: (Windows/Linux/Android/iPhone)
2. a simple question: Are you new to Bitcoin?