I was pretty skeptical about the ribbon before I gave it a decent try, and I have to admit I've come to like it. For the way I
use Office, I find that the "focused" view it offers is much more convenient than always having a zillion icons on the toolbar, or having to go hunt endless cascaded layers of menus. And when I'm doing bulk writing, I can hide the ribbon to maximize screen real estate.
That said, it's silly when developers adopt the ribbon just for the sake of using the newest MS feature. It simply doesn't make sense in a regular text editor, and I find it to be overkill in MSPaint as well. But for Office, you can't use it as a general argument the suite, since a lot of people like it and it's really a personal preference kinda thing.
As for the rest of the summarized points (can't be bothered to RTFA), well... yeah, there's free alternatives, and they might work just fine if you only have simple needs. But if you have to do document exchange, you're SOL if you need to process anything but the simplest
.doc or .docx documents. If you do VBA developing, the OOo offering sucka compared to the debugger and help integrated in MS-Office (which isn't even that hot compared to visual studio).
While I'm not that big a fan of SharePoint (the system implemented for our school was so poor that we had to dismiss it after a semester or two - probably not SP's fault but sucky developers developing a crap system around SP), suggesting that you can just copy/paste instead of doing a proper save is ridiculous... c/p a couple hundred of pages, great idea? I think not. Besides, what would that do to version tracking?
And dismissing simultaneous editing, heh. The author is describing a people management problem
, not a problem with the feature. Yeah, great dismissing a program feature because you and your co-workers are disorganized, non-communicating clobbermonkeys