I've finally installed Office 2007 on my PC, and I now fumble around performing tasks that were quick and familiar using the old Office interface. In particular, I miss the action oriented headers of the old hierarchical menus. I knew what to expect under Edit, View, and Format, but now each application within the suite has different top-level categories. Document styles live under Home in Powerpoint, for example, but in Word they live under Design.
There's nothing surprising about these transition pains. No one I've ever talked to enjoys learning a new interface to accomplish the same tasks. I understand, though, why Microsoft tied on their Ribbon. They ran a survey on new features for Office, and found most of what people were asking for was already hidden in the software. What else could they do but introduce new interface?
It's less than a year after the Ribbon was first introduced, and it appears to be faring well. In addition to some vague articles touting the Ribbon's success, I'm seeing ribbons appear in new Web applications like FotoFlexer. Jakob Nielsen calls the adoption rate of the Ribbon "surprisingly strong."