As you probably have seen, many of the latest applications coming out are now based on a user interface with a MS Office ribbon look. While the issue of "is it better" will never be put to rest, the history of how this came to be is rather interesting (to me anyway).
So I did a little digging and found a video just about this vary issue. It is big at 146meg but shows where we were and how the ribbon idea came into existance. Here is the link to the file and below is a snippet description.
Title: Beneath the Surface: The Natural Experience
VisionSpeaker(s): Daniel Makoski
Description: Come hear how the Surface User Experience team is focusing on design and user experience as a key driver for creating more natural, intuitive and emotional products. Learn how Surface shifts the approach that has been used for more than thirty years of making users learn the language of computers and products to an entirely new approach where technology, computers, and products learn the language of people: touch, voice, and gesture.