Last night I installed Kubuntu 9.04 RC on a 2Ghz, 512MB Shuttle machine with onboard graphics that landed in my lap a couple of weeks ago.
I tested Mint on the machine but had a problem with the login splash that disappeared after logout. Mint looked good but I found the desktop too quirky for my taste. Maybe my taste is quirky and Mint's desktop is fine?
I decided to give Kubuntu a shot because I like KDE4. My last attempt at Kubuntu 8.10 was a disaster because KDE4 had numerous problems with the ATI card in my big machine.
The installation went smoothly, very smooth as a matter of fact. Minimal intervention is required but I did take the long route with partitioning as I was working with a brand new 120GB drive. The installation screens was intuitive and a room full of monkeys will be able to install this sucker. (They may get the timezone wrong)
Once installed everything worked perfectly. After the first boot (almost an hour later but I did not time the install) Kubuntu announced that there's updates ready and it was downloaded and installed in 15 minutes.
The interface is very nice. I will have to play some more but I'm impressed thus far.
My only gripe is that I had to go and get Firefox. And a windows user will have a difficult time with this. Once you figured out where the package manager is located and how it works, you are overwhelmed with 15 packages for Firefox to choose from.
Canonical may do themselves and new converts a huge favour and make the application acquisition process more intuitive for non linux geeks. I usually use apt and so will most of yous guys, but Kubuntu/Ubuntu is aimed at newbs(I think?)
The vast array of application available in the repositories and the "ease" of getting to them via the package manager is one of the biggest advantages Linux have over Windows. Now just go and make the package manager flashy with lots of bling, bells and whistles and we have a winner.
I'm hugely impressed with Kubuntu 9.04 and will run a test and replace my families Windows box with this one and see how they accept it.