"Given that Trisquel, like its Ubuntu base, is meant to be the most user-friendly distro for people new to GNU-Linux,"

I would say Trisquel is meant to be the most user-friendly distro that is fully free. That last clause matters a lot, since there are other distros that put user-friendliness (defined by ease of use rather than respecting the user's freedom and privacy) above all other considerations.

One benefit of using MATE is that it should be fairly easy to shift the look and feel of the user interface to match what users accustomed to other OSes expect. The default of course strongly resembles Windows, especially Windows 95 through Vista. MATE (at least the version in Ubuntu MATE) has a "Panels" dropmenu in the MATE Tweak tool's "Interface" portion that lets you switch to a Mac-like look and feel ("Cupertino") or Ubuntu-style ("Mutiny"). Does Trisquel 8's implementation of MATE have this? I would also recommend a "Mountain View" option that replicates the ChromeOS or Chromium OS look and feel.

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