More info about user interface design for Office 12
There IS good research at Microsoft. Check out Jensen Harris's An Office User Interface Blog, where he explains the new UI for Office 12! These guys are really spending lot of thoughts on their re-design, something I never suspected as a Word-User from version 4.0 on a Macintosh SE. Since then imho, nearly nothing has happened and usability is down. Let's see if this redesign is more iWordish.