Along with the other flavors, Ubuntu MATE 14.10 was released today. This is an unofficial (it will most probably become an official Ubuntu flavor in the near future) MATE-based Ubuntu flavor, "ideal for those who want the most out of their desktops, laptops and netbooks and prefer a traditional desktop metaphor", which had its very first stable release today.
MATE is a GNOME 2 fork which lets you use the old GNOME 2 desktop interface and applications but it also allows you to use new applications so for instance, you can use Gedit 3 if you want, etc.
Like the old GNOME 2, MATE (and thus, Ubuntu MATE) offers a traditional desktop layout with two panels and is highly customizable: themes can be installed or changed from the Appearance dialog (and there are quite a few themes available by default), the panels can be resized and they support autohide and a multitude of applets, the notifications position can be changed and so on:
|Control center, window preferences and notification settings, with a test notification|
|One of the many themes shipped with Ubuntu MATE 14.10 by default|
Ubuntu MATE 14.10 includes the latest MATE 1.8 which, compared to MATE 1.6 (available in the Ubuntu 14.04 repositories) includes support for Metacity as window manager, side-by-side tiling and more.
While it includes the default MATE applications such as Caja (file manager), Pluma (text editor) and so on, Ubuntu MATE 14.10 ships with some applications you'll also find in other Ubuntu flavors, like Firefox, Pidgin, Thunderbird, Transmission, LibreOffice, Totem or Rhythmbox, so users coming from Ubuntu w/ Unity should feel at home from this point of view. Also, for the display manager, LightDM is used by default, with the GTK greeter:
Furthermore, Ubuntu MATE uses the default Ubuntu icons and a GTK theme based on Ubuntu's Ambiance so besides the traditional desktop layout, things should look pretty close to Ubuntu's defaults.
It's important to note that because this is the first Ubuntu MATE release and it's not a LTS, the Ubuntu MATE team is going to make Ubuntu MATE 14.04 LTS ISOs available "shortly after Ubuntu MATE 14.10 is released", mentions the Ubuntu MATE FAQ.
Download Ubuntu MATE 14.10
Before installing Ubuntu MATE 14.10, make sure you checkout the official release announcement.