(Editing partly with respect to the comments below:)
The most highly esteemed contributor ever to this forum was @oweng. Despite the fact that he retired about a year ago, he is still by far - and rightly - the one with the highest karma in this “meritocratic community”. We should probably not dismiss his statements. Maybe the answer he posted about three years ago concerning a question about the ribbon UI is still worth to read at least. It was one of the last contributions he updated (2016-03-29) before retiring, and it was upvoted 9 times. Imo it is even still valid. You may go to that answer using the link. There is just a couple of sentences I would like to emphasize from my point of view of an old teacher (The old question contained “Students are baffled”.) :
I am dismayed that students at a school, that presumably go there to learn, are so easily “baffled.” Either the teachers or the students are not fulfilling their role effectively. The world is a diverse place. It contains lots of different things. The road to disappointment is paved with expectations.
(Italic by oweng. I would tend to insert “undue” in front of “expectations”.)
(This is, as far as I can remember, my firts post for which I ask for upvoting.
For interseting comments I ask as well, of course, as implicitly always.)
A quiet submission in uneasy mood.
Might it be part of the current riding on the wave to decide “This but That as well.” or “Let’s make it optional.” “Go ‘Personal’.” In my opinion productive software shouldn’t go that way. Think alone of providing help. Will I have to hence fork when answering knowing of two or three ways and not knowing how many else there may be? (I already give alternatives sometimes.) Will I have to know about significantly different UI options to be able to help a beginner? There isn’t even documentation yet correctly regarding all the changes made to the standard UI within the last few years. “Where is ‘Window Freeze’ gone?” “Was naming ranges or expressions abolished?” “I can no longer find ‘Fill Right’.” Software for the real world must be teachable and supportable. Free software cannot get the average user to pay for support either directly or by “buying” a new version every other year.
If competitors go the way of “individualize everything” LibO might take advantage of its orignal strategy: “Let’s look the same and work the same way on every system.” We might better add: “And have users see the same surface while they are communicating about the usage.”
Of course, MS is strong in marketing. They aren’t idiots, and they themselves will know best that “Ribbon Interface” is an extreme mischief with respect to the needs of conscious users. They didn’t invent it to make their software better but to fight competitors. A few pleasant feelings for the jabbers and not too much obvious trouble for teachers and deciders. Just enough for luring.
A suspicion of mine put into a thesis: A commercial software vendor to the general public, if already leading in a market, should never make his software better than absolutely neccessary to not lose market share. Competition insofar is not about quality but about ruling the expectations.