Ubuntu Mate is my favorite distro, because of Mate desktop.
I am not an IT guy, but I own around 7 laptops and 6 desktops. 3 laptops and 1 desktop is 32bit only (the 32bit desktop is used by my mother to browse some time the internet).
I chose this desktop because it has exactly the feature that I need compare with LXDE, it is quite well maintained compared with XFCE, is more stable than KDE, and works on all of my system quite well.
But I want to be honest this desktop is far from being "top quality" is more like a beta, a free quality (you get it as it is).
- The panel menus if you try to configure has never worked OK no mater what version of Mate you use .
- Video acceleration it depends by computer you use, on some the window is accelerated but not the content, on other default mate windows are but other apps like Firefox not, on others apps like Firefox is accelerated but mate apps not, so no consistency, it differ by the system you use, or on some even if you add or not external monitor.
- they have different random issue like upgrading on 32bit 17.10 does not load lightdm greeter, on 18.04 same systems does not replace lightdm with slick greeter config, so I have to do it manually. They also does not shut down all the time. Same systems on 16.04 the "plymooth" style log-out logo shows random colors but somehow was fixed in 18.04
- MATE DESKTOP IS DROPPING 32BIT SUPPORT TODAY 2018.05.04 SO FORGET IT, NO ONE IS CARING ABOUT 32bit
- IT NEVER WORKED OK ON ALL 32BIT SYSTEMS
- IT ALSO FAR FROM PERFECT on 64BIT SYSTEMS
Lets go back to Windows XP, at least that one works perfectly on 32bit system.
AS YOU ALREADY KNOW, JUST REMIND YOU, MOSTLY SECURITY BUGS ARE ADDED TO LTS RELESES, THE OTHERS ARE PORTED FROM DEVELOPMENT, SO IF NO DEVELOPMENT ON 32, THERE WILL BE NO 32bit SPECIFIC FIXES (like par example the MARCO Acceleratin that on my system is worser than 16.04), END OF STORY, YOU REMAIN WITH WHAT YOU HAVE UNTIL NOW FROM UBUNTU MATE, SORRY IF I AM WRONG.
So I have to chose something else for my 32bit systems, I retested Lubuntu but on that one I can't add a second menu bar with app shortcuts, so is a no go, maybe something else...