There are plenty of detailed reviews available online on the topic of what's working and what's not when you edit MS Office documents on OpenOffice. Short form is that complex excel formulas as well as Word style definitions are the first thing to break. If you're doing something that requires exact layout (like school papers), do not switch between programs in the middle.Originally Posted by JRainey
Also every single objective comparison between MS Office and the alternatives you can run on Windows/Linux/Mac says MS Office is best overall right now (load speed, memory use and features) but, it's also the most expensive office suite. The cheaper/completely free alternatives do basic stuff for you, but fall short when you need something special done. There's no free lunch.
Another interesting bit about office suites is the MS Office 2010 online edition which is supposed to be direct competition for Google Docs and coming out very soon now. Definitely worth checking out how it turns out before committing to OO or Google Docs with your school papers.
Yes and no. Current mainstream desktop distributions, like the standard Ubuntu are almost as hard on CPU and RAM as Windows7, and require lot more computing power than Windows XP. Sure you can get a version of linux that runs on limited resources easier than customized windows, but you will not see any real performance benefit in everyday desktop use if you want all the bells and whistles and eyecandy.Originally Posted by JRainey