Originally Posted by Licht
As a professional I've seen the ribbon provide average users with the ability to actually use a lot of the more "advanced" Office components they could have never used before. At least, not without help. That alone has me convinced this is the right way to go. Let alone the fact the ribbons basically put all the buttons that matter right smack where you need them. Of course, I'll still prefer to use my keyboard any day.
I completely agree, I've worked retail, Engineering, and contract IT and all the jobs I've seen people benefit from the ribbon.
Originally Posted by Anarion
It's ugly and confusing for most users. It made explorer seem like Office which is a bad thing. With all those buttons up there a simple user will get confused. Most of those options are useless and you use them rarely so there is no point for them to stay in front of your eyes and pollute the screen. Don't like what they want to do with 8. It's towards a bad direction for desktop environment. For tablets and smartphones maybe it will be nice though.
It may present more options, but aside from Office 2007 (the original ribbon which did suck), all the new iterations are completely organized and much easier to use then the traditional menu system, and can normally be set to auto-hide requiring you to hover over the top of the screen to make it shop up, so you don't lose any workspace. I'm actually surprised that over 5 years after the ribbon was introduced, people are still afraid of it.