In Drupal, you can set any path to become the front page (such as a certain node ID, a view from Views module, a panel layout from Panels module, etc), by adjusting the "Default front page" setting at: admin/settings/site-information. For instance, say you made a Panel page, View, or node, etc and assigned it the path example.com/home. When you go to the site-information admin page and change the default setting of "node" instead to "home", Drupal will use example.com/home as the front page (without needing /home, so that just example.com will now load the content of your new home page).
example.com/?q=node/12 (standard, clean URLs not enabled) --- Set to: node/12
example.com/node/12 (clean URLs enabled) --- Set to: node/12
example.com/mypage (clean URLs enabled, custom Path) --- Set to: mypage
This applies for all Path aliases on your site in general, but since you will be making one for your home page this is worth noting: If you are concerned about duplicate content penalties from search engines, it's a good idea to make use of the Global Redirect module, so that in the event that someone or Google happened to go to the address example.com/home (which by default would load a duplicate copy of your home page), they would be instantly redirected (via an Apache 301 redirect) to example.com.