In my recent King of KDistros poll, several readers wanted me to include Mandriva in the comparison, claiming it had become a KDE exclusive distro and that it was doing a great job with its latest release, Mandriva 2011. Having tested Mandriva 2010 not so long ago and feeling disappointed by its apparent lack of progress, I decided to leave Mandriva out of the poll. I felt PCLinuxOS already somewhat represented the heart of Mandriva, but I have to admit I was not aware of the latest changes and progress at Mandriva camp.
Intrigued by those recommendations, I decided to download Mandriva 2011 RC2, the last of the release candidates, which with the exception of a few bug fixes, should not differ much from the latest official release. I must admit Mandriva 2011 pleasantly surprised me, showcasing a lot of refreshing ideas and quite an impressive amount of customization that is not usually found in KDE releases.