- The notion that it was ever meant for a touch interface is fraudulant at best.
Guilty. Doesn't mean it that Office isn't waay better with touch screens than other equivalent competitor programs. Office is primarilly used by people with a mouse and keyboard, and if the Office team even suggested sacrificing usability by their core users to go with hypothetical new users they'd be slapped down.
- I have no doubt the empiracle usage data was useful in organizing the ribbon. That said in the particular case of "print" I doubt that was the only criteria for print. Again IMO I suspect that it was in Microsoft's best interest to keep things digital so they can sell more OS and Office licenses for phones, tablets, and laptops. Why take a printout to a meeting when you can take the document via your phone? Consider this my Glenn Beck moment.
B.S. Word's primary purpose is to make documents that can be printed out, so to suggest that "print" is unimportant for the Office team is ridiculous - almost as ridiculous as suggesting that Microsoft have an incentive for "keeping things digital" despite the free "Office viewer" made by Microsoft online and widely used in industry.
There's a video from MIX08 that describes how the ribbon was made by the people that made it, including why and how they came to the conclusion that the ribbon was better than the previous menu structure in Office 2003: