I say that Linux Mint seems to be number one now because on the site that tracks all Linux distributions DistroWatch's, Page Hit Ranking list, Mint has been number one for the last week, the last month, and, indeed for the last six months.
In the overall rankings over the last six months, Ubuntu remains number two, but recent updates of openSUSE and Fedora have knocked Ubuntu into 4th place in recent days.
What happened? Even now if you were to ask most Linux people what the most popular desktop Linux is they'd probably say Ubuntu.
Well part of it is just excitement over new major releases of openSUSE and Fedora of course, but that doesn't explain why Linux Mint has been holding the top spot.
I kind of like Ubuntu Unity, but other people, not to put too fine a point on it, can't stand Unity. What Mint offers to users is Ubuntu's goodness but with the GNOME interface they've grown to love over the years. Clearly, they've found a lot of people want to use their old desktop and don't want any part of Unity.
MGSE puts a GNOME 2.x style desktop layer on top of Gnome 3. While it's still beta, its worked well for me in the Mint 12 release candidate. I'll be writing more about that in the next few days, but it looks to me like Mint is on to a desktop that will keep its GNOME 2.x loving customers happy.
And, that, in turn, may well mean that Mint will continue to be the most popular Linux desktop of all.