Linux Mint 17.3 is the final Mint 17 release and should put to rest any worries about Mint’s plan to stick with Ubuntu LTS releases for its base. Mint has done what it set up to do, namely improve the Cinnamon desktop to the point that it not only matches, but in many places far exceeds the user experience found in other options like GNOME, and especially, Unity.
Indeed, it’s hard to look at Mint 17.3 without comparing it to its upstream base. While Mint has been continually working hard on the desktop and cranking out release after release, Ubuntu has stagnated. If Ubuntu wants to leapfrog past some of its pain points, its developers would do well to look downstream. Mint’s package management tools are simpler, more comprehensive, and easier to use than anything Ubuntu offers. Mint also manages to do all this without anything even remotely close to the resources Ubuntu enjoys.