One thing on Open Office. I've not used it but I have a friend who does. I have MS Office 2003.
As an experiment, I asked him to send me an Open Office doc as an attachment to see if I could open it in MSWord. The two are supposed to be compatible, so I fully expected the thing to open.
When I tried to open the attachment, all I got was jumbled machine language in the MSWord window.
Turns out there's apparently some kind of "Save as" setting that automatically saves as a compatible MSWord doc. He didn't save it that way at first, so that's why I got the Open Office format that wasn't readable in MSWord. He changed the setting, sent it to me again, and this time it opened just fine.
So if you use Open Office and want to send a doc to someone who only has MSWord, you'll need to have that setting correct.
As I said, I don't use Open Office so I can't be more precise on where that setting is or exactly what it says.