I am very much an OS "whore", I flit around like a mad thing pledging my allegiance between various flavors of Windows and Linux; not sure why, exactly. In the past year, my trusty laptop has seen Windows 7, Windows 8, Linux Mint 14 and 15, Ubuntu (12, I think), and Zorin OS 7. Maybe I am looking for the "perfect" OS. In any case, I just downloaded the 64-bit versions of the newly released Zorin OS 8 and Mageia 4, and installed Mageia 4 to try it.
So far, that is much like my previous experiences with Zorin OS 7 and Mint. Now, I think my main problem with Mageia 4 may be that I chose to install the KDE desktop; for some reason I have never really liked KDE and I was hoping that time may have improved KDE or adjusted my attitude towards it. In the past KDE somehow struck me as a bit busy and sort of cheesy-looking. It's just a personal thing of course, as many others out there use and enjoy KDE.
When I used Mint, I used both the Cinnamon and Mate desktops (both based upon different versions of the Gnome desktop), and Zorin OS 7 also has a (different) modified Gnome desktop. This current version of KDE (4.11) is not as bad as I remembered it, although the taskbar area still seems a bit "busy" to me, and most Windows XP or Windows 7 users would likely find it quite intuitive to use.
The software package manager (RPMDrake) was confusing to me at first, as it told me I needed to select some additional packages to satisfy dependencies when trying to install the OpenShot video editor; I did not immediately see how to do that, or what packages I needed. I seem to recall Mint and Zorin being a bit more obvious in that respect, however that is probably just my unfamiliarity with a different environment. OpenShot was installed correctly after a wee bit of scowling and head-scratching.
However, one other thing has put a burr under my saddle: the fonts. I hear people complaining about Linux default fonts quite a bit, and I always thought they were just being picky, as I never had any real issues - up until now. I don't know whether it has to do with the default fonts themselves, or the antialiasing settings, or what - but the text is noticeably, well, ugly.
I am disinclined to fiddle around with the fonts and so will proceed to use it for at least a few more days to see what's what with Mageia otherwise. I realize any version of Linux is very customizable, so I am really just talking about the "out of the box" experience here. Even so, I will probably end up installing Zorin OS 8, as I very much enjoyed using Zorin OS 7.