no, I didn't, because the only ActiveX-elements I use in my Access applications are those which are already installed on the most client machines like MSCOMCTL and so on. But if I would need it I would simply use an external installer as the MS installer in Access is in general not enough for me. I use http://www.createinstall.com/cifree/ which is fast, free and can be configured like I want. Moreover it creates great zips, very small. Here I can insert registry keys and scripts to start before and after installation so it is no problem to copy further files and add them to the registry, if I need it.
That's what I said: If the best functionality in Access can only be created by importing maybe great ActiveX addins then I can go on and directly use a real programming language like .NET languages.
Look into the several Office websites - in the most cases real database programmers use Access only for "quick and dirty" or small business applications for which everything inside Access is enough. The most people you'll find there are normal users which even don't know what a database is and far away from website programming, for those people the way MS goes here is the right way - more macros, simple Sharepoint deployment, automatic database creation on SQL Server and back. The target is definitely small business and not big Enterprise databases.
Ribbons and Navigation pane are clearly a solution built directly from WPF in .NET (because you can built it there with a few lines of code). In my eyes they are a great enhancement of working with an application. For Ribbons you don't need to change anything in size of your application, simply make a doubleclick on the ribbon tab and they disappear like the hideable taskbar of Windows. So in the end you have the same space for your application. The navigation bar can be changed with a lot of possible settings so you can change it like you want - and you are definitely very much faster working with this than with the old database window! The same with ribbons: The possibilities they open for own application and a lot better application design are immense! One thing is that you can move all the buttons and settings of forms which take a lot of space into a ribbon and you need to design the ribbon only once and can reuse it in any form by simply assigning a ribbon to a form. How do you do that in a standard form? Normally you must copy and paste a button to the next form, move it to the right place and most often developers copy the code from one form to the next (because in most cases the code is too short to call a function there). With ribbons it is not necessary as you can get from where the function was called and do the same things for equal functions. If you want to insert a close button, do it once, assign it a form close function and assign it to the form's ribbon. In the next form you don't need to think about it, assign the ribbon to the form und you have ALL the standard functions you need everywhere.
So, don't blame the really great ribbons and navigation bar, but your own incapability to work with new UIs and new possibilities. Yes, the ribbons need a good external editor to be created - but MS has one in Visual Studio addons and there are at least two other external solutions for this job. And if you really don't want to use them, you can use ActiveX solutions to insert menus, toolbars, status bars as many as you want - directly shipped from Microsoft - and switch off any ribbon.
So my opinion is: Why should we use an obsolete, moldy UI like in Access 2003 if we can have a vectorbased UI with WPF/.NET?
Why should we use Access to create a "real" database solution? A client which needs a continous connection to a database server is not a "real world" database in my eyes.
As I said: It's OK for small projects or small business applications for rapid development. But you will get to a lot of problems if you work with "real" databases with big amount of data. You need a lot of tricks to do this in Access.
Access = Office = Small Business, Small Projects.
Sharepoint = Small Business, Small and Middle Projects.
SQL Server and .NET = Enterprise Solutions.
My opinion, no try to persuade someone.