I was a Mandrake user for several years, before Ubuntu and Fedora were even part of the Linux lexicon. At the time, Mandrake was one of the easiest distributions in the Linux community. Mandrake was derived from Redhat with a focus on ease of use and usability.
Shortly after, Mandrake became Mandriva. I lost track of the distro because other better distros came along. Fedora and Ubuntu particularly took the Linux community by storm. Most people jumped ship and moved on to other distros. I did the same and chose Ubuntu.
Mandriva is still around. 3 million users strong according to their website. Mandriva has a new distro called Mandriva Spring 2010. It’s available for free to download. It comes in two flavors, Gnome and KDE. I’m not used to seeing Mandriva with Gnome since it was a KDE distro.
If you have some spare time, you can give Mandriva Spring 2010 a try. I’m interested in two other products by Mandriva, the InstantOn and Flash. InstantOn boots in less than 10 seconds while Flash is a mobile desktop in a USB key. Unfortunately, they are not free.
Anyways, give Mandriva Spring 2010 a try. Download.