There has been a little flurry of rumours on the blogsphere including the ever excitable slashdot that we have radically changed the ribbon, making it much smaller. Some are saying that we are even backing away from the ribbon or that we received "complaints" that it was too big.
I've checked with the source that is Jensen and his team and this is not the case. All we can think of is that somebody got confused about the minimised ribbon feature which has been in there from the beginning. There have been some recent improvements to the way the minimised ribbon works I suppose - e.g. a sort of "autohide" so that now it will return to a minimised state after using a feature.
Check out Jensen's posts which include videos of these features:
Part 2: Nice for mice: menu tabs
We remain very committed to the ribbon in both maximised and minimised forms and feedback has been very positive.
Not sure where this misinformation started but it seems it may have been one of our own people speculating in a presentation.
Microsoft Australia technical specialist John Hodgson said the change came about after complaints from some customers. "One of the feedbacks we got is that it takes up too much room," he said during a presentation at Tech.Ed 06 in Sydney.
Anyway, sorry John, this is just plain wrong. Perhaps he was quoted out of context or something so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.