But that didn't stop me from trying it and what an amazing find it has turned out to be. From the installer to desktop, everything just works. The installer itself is also quite impressive with enough options to keep power users happy but at the same time well balanced to provide a pleasant experience for newbies.
Mageia 1 (64-Bit) with a customized KDE 4.6.x desktop
Going with the KDE 4.6.3 desktop, the experience is very nippy out of the box and in my view noticeably better than Kubuntu 11.04 > openSUSE 11.4 > Fedora 15 KDE.
When it comes to administering the system Mageia features an application called Mageia Control Center, which unlike openSUSE's YaST, is more accessible, better laid out and not over complicated.
The Mageia Control Center - What YaST should have been!
And just like YaST, if you are not running in an X-server environment the Mageia Control Center has a text mode equivalent.
I have only had Mageia 1 (64-bit) on my system for a few hours but everything about this distribution has a quality feel. The art work, splash screens, the user experience, the easy to use central management application, the installation, the performance...it's more than a job well done!
My only issue was the default Mageia customized KDE appearance was not to my liking and the oxygen-gtk engine was not installed by default, this meant GTK apps like Firefox were not blending well in KDE. An issue that was quick to fix but nonetheless could have been easily avoided by providing the oxygen-gtk engine by default which makes a lot of sense if you are going to bundle applications like Firefox and LibreOffice.
I am definitely keeping Mageia installed for a while longer to see if it meets my very simple needs but in any event I seriously believe this new and recent Linux distribution has a lot going for it regardless of its origins.
Mageia is not Mandriva, its better.
I would encourage anyone looking for a KDE distribution to take Mageia for a spin.