Partially I agree but I will still think that the target audience were the users who use Word as Notepad replacement. For them ribbon is salvation. I have seen enough diploma's thesises without paragraphs / automatic TOC, VBA etc. to know that many users needs the basics only. They don't even want to search for some functionality. If they cannot see it, it doesn't exist. Haven't you seen i.e. documents with overkilling Enter usage for placing the content on new page (instead of Insert -> Page break)? I did.
Whatever we say one thing is good in MS Office 2007 for sure: live preview.
I've always hated:
1. loading Properties dialog,
2. changing some values,
3. clicking OK,
4. looking for results,
5. pressing Ctrl+Z,
6. loading Properties dialog once again.
Now you can preview the results just by hovering some options. This is definitely better but it's just a drop in the sea.
See, that's exactly who I am. Seriously, numero uno reason why I've since forgotten about MS Word is because I actually found Notepad! No kidding.
The thing about the ribbon is, I still can't see anything and now I have a bunch of squigly lines and preview things staring at me in the face. I don't think you're going to convince any newbies to format some paragraph if they don't know what it is when it's staring at them in the face.
Just to prove my credentials, 99% of what you listed made no sense to me. TOC? VBA? Page break?
Since when did seeing Japanese Greetings on my insert screen part of the basics of a word processor and what the hell is a "Text box"?
Why in the world is typing in a vertical line a part of the main visible options?
The mysteries of the ribbon are like playing the rubix cube. Sure, you can see everything but salvation? Not until the stars have aligned in your favor.