Madriva released 2009.0 today, and I downloaded and tested the Mandriva One KDE 4.1 live version. The system booted up without any issues. Once up and running I was able to quickly tweak the look-and-feel to something I liked, as can be seen below.
With one interesting issue, everything Just Works with Mandriva One 2009. The one notable exception is Compiz. Mandriva One comes bundled with the AMD/ATI video drivers, and Mandriva One uses the commercial driver as you can see below.
Outside of the Compiz issue, everything seems to be working just fine, although it seems to be shipping with pre-release versions of Open Office (OOO300m7) and the kernel (2.6.27.rc8). Overall I'm quite pleased that this version of Mandriva is working on europa, which is approaching its fifth birthday. It's performance is quite good, even for a live CD version. I've been thinking of rebuilding europa with a low-cost, low-power quad-core Phenom processor with 4GB of DRAM and 1TB of disk space. I've priced parts for a complete system on Newegg for around USD$800, which is 1/3 what I paid for europa. And to top it off it will consume less power.
I have downloaded and booted beta versions of Ubuntu 8.10 and Fedora 10, and I suppose I could compare and contrast, but really, why bother. I purchased a one-year Mandriva subscription back in May, and I hope to be able to download and install/upgrade the Power Pack in October or November. My negative experiences over the last 12-18 months (since spring 2007) with openSUSE, Ubuntu, and Fedora have pretty much cured me of distro-hopping. Mandriva may not suit everyone, but it's more than fine for me.