@westlake -- Oh, dear, dear, dear, dear.... Truth hurts.
[At the time I'm writing.] With the thumbs-down running two-to-one against you, your view says it all: you're correct, but we don't want to hear about it.
"To Microsoft, MS Office is simply one component of an integrated office system [client-server-web-mobile] that scales to an enterprise of any size."
Correct. It's "simply one component" and that it "scales to an enterprise of any size" is the notion and it's key.
Furthermore, it's key to understanding Microsoft. Early on, M$ studied IBM -- as Big Blue is par-excellent at dovetailing big clients into big enterprise solutions--hardware and/or software, M$ has mirrored for 'middleware'--the PC and its apps.
"That said, the "Ribbon" has been a spectacular commercial success on both the Mac and PC platforms --- and the geek in IT still can't fathom why."
I hate, loathe and detest the "Ribbon". ...But this geek knows why. Watching any novice or non-geek learning to adapt to it, I just have to bite my lip--we're a twain apart.
[It's why I'd never enter politics--not in a democracy anyway.]
"The productivity of the clerical worker. Staffing. Training. Retention. These are the things that matter to the office manager. To senior management."
Absolutely key. Senior management couldn't give a damn about the niceties of one IT solution over another so long as costs are kept to a minimum, things sort of work and the staff don't assassinate the IT head or declare war on the IT dept. Whether we like it or not, for general PC use, a Microsoft solution is the best fit in such circumstances. It's the closest we get to peace.
It irks me to say it and I wish there were a better solution. The facts speak for themselves, unfortunately.
Out of touch naysayers, please put windows in yuh ivory towers. [duh, sorry.]