Re: Microsoft's productivity challenge
"Under competitive pressures they had to listen to customers and understood what it takes to build a productivity tool."
It used to be that way, in the ages long past. They (well, somebody influential in there) wanted to scrap the old boring toolmaker image and dip into entertainment. Thus bringing about those silly hide-and-seek games, weird selection of colours, myriad of uncanny ways to draw user's attention on the interface, changes for the sake of change, lots of babbling about "user experience". Attention whoring, to put it not-so-mildly.
In this regard, any talk about enhancing productivity has to be viewed as a good sign. Maybe the tools will get usable again, instead of trying to "entertain" users to the point of mental meltdown.