Tim Barker or the author is either clueless or intentionally misleading
Without getting into details it is either intentionally misleading or simple ignorance to say:
“Office sucks productivity out of people,” he claimed, and pointed out that the lack of collaboration in the desktop version of Microsoft’s flagship software"
In addition to the "Desktop version" the "online" browser based versions of the Office apps (Word, Excel, etc..) offering collaboration services that can work as a small scale collabortive effort or tie into MOSS (Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server) which IS specifically engineer as a robust, scalable enterprise collaboration service.
After reading this article all i see is little pot-shots are MS.
"whose customers might accuse the company of abandoning its roots" - This comment is baffling. How exactly would a company founded on innovation and technology that succeeds through agile and often industry leading adaptation of the "cutting edge" be accused of abandoning those very roots by embracing direction like cloud computing?
The way this article reads has Barker as either a little insecure now that MS is developing solutions in the cloud space or a little jealous that that have the ability to come in a bit slower than Google but quickly ramp up to a position ahead of them.
Maybe talking about how Salesforce solution benefit the customer or how its going to restore that productivity that Office sucked out would have been a better way to waste space.