Recently though, I took an interest in Ubuntu: I installed version 7.04 on a laptop, and it did look interesting, enough to make me doubt my commitment to Mandrivas products.
The comparison is at Freesoftwaremagazine
Well, finally, what can be said? Both distributions have their pros and cons. Mandriva has recently consolidated its product lines and offers, allowing users afraid to be on their own the reassurance of paid for support while leaving a very convincing offer available to free software users, while Ubuntu is appearing more and more often pre-installed on consumer computersand version 7.10 should be even easier to pre-install.
I would close this little comparison with what I think those distributions are for: Ubuntu (and 7.10 more than ever) is good for a no-nonsense, powerful, integrated system where everything works out of the box with minimal or no support, while Mandriva is more for the curious user, even if a beginner, who doesnt want to waste too much time installing a working system, and then tweaks it the way he wants it to be. However, of the two releases, I find Mandriva 2008.0 a bit more polished than Ubuntu: some translations are missing in Gutsy Gibbon, and the welcomed Flash/Gnash installer just didnt work. It may need a few more updates to work, while Mandriva 2008.0, for once, worked well right out of Release Candidate status.