Not to mention Open Office is apparently quite compatible with Word documents and its formatting… unlike Works which butchers my beautiful reports. ;) [/quote:95998d1a98]
works isnt good simply because its a skimmed down version of ms word packaged with your pc with aload of features missing.
Its a nice app to package with windows for basic word processing, but obviously not good enough for real work (bare your c.v or letter to your gran).
Each time a new iteration of ms word comes out, the open office crew go about figuring out what the new specs are for ms file formats i.e .doc file (similarly .xls etc).
ms are consistently changing the spec (internally), so that open office wont show a .doc correctly, so you buy ms.
typically, though the guys at openoffice, reverse engineer in the legal way, trial error, good guess and eventually get something close to it. thus leading to the instability in open office.
ms are actually arguing with the eu at present over this source code\interface issue, in that 3rd parties cannot get access to specs such as .doc .xls .ppt etc, so they can not interpret the formats exactly. end result open office is a best guess (which in fairness is pretty good).