The paper discusses a number of extensions to the Skip-gram model previously proposed by Mikolov et al (citation  in the paper): which learns linear word embeddings that are particularly useful for analogical reasoning type tasks. The extensions proposed (namely, negative sampling and sub-sampling of high frequency words) enable extremely fast training of the model on large scale datasets. This also results in significantly improved performance as compared to previously proposed techniques based on neural networks. The authors also provide a method for training phrase level embeddings by slightly tweaking the original training algorithm.
This paper proposes 3 improvements for the skip-gram model which allows for learning embeddings for words. The first improvement is subsampling frequent word, the second is the use of a simplified version of noise constrastive estimation (NCE) and finally they propose a method to learn idiomatic phrase embeddings. In all three cases the improvements are somewhat ad-hoc. In practice, both the subsampling and negative samples help to improve generalization substantially on an analogical reasoning task. The paper reviews related work and furthers the interesting topic of additive compositionality in embeddings.
The article does not propose any explanation as to why the negative sampling produces better results than NCE which it is suppose to loosely approximate. In fact it doesn't explain why besides the obvious generalization gain the negative sampling scheme should be preferred to NCE since they achieve similar speeds.