From a personal point of view, I regret downloading OpenOffice. I won't bother now until I upgrade laptops/tablets but will definitely buy Microsoft Office for my new technology. From a home point of view, OpenOffice is fine - it does most of the things Microsoft Word does. The problem comes when you want to liase with big corporations, or even little businesses, who all use Microsoft Office or Excel. For example, you may want to upload a resume or send a file - and their system doesn't recognise it! I can't imagine what life would be like if you were a student communicating with a big university although lately i WAS just about able to get an OTF uploaded. I wouldn't want to chance it say, for a thesis, big term paper or dissertation. Actually, I'm a bit frustrated with Microsoft Office as well as, compared to our edgy new iphone technologies, I find the old technology and formats cumbersome and boring but I guess we'll just have to wait until all these big outfits catch up with uis! Another annoying thing with OpenOffice is that it takes ages to load, often won't disappear when you want it to and sometimes leaves important documents and files stuck on the welcome page asking to 'recover' them which is a bit unnerving!
The usual adage is true that you get what you pay for with free software in terms of support but theres plenty of advice online, just no guarantees. Some people have never heard of it but OpenOffice has been around for two decades already and is in global use. Since its latest version, 3.4, was released in 2012, its been downloaded over 44 million times. Also, as with Microsoft Office's 'normal' version, it will work offline, though I've never tried it - cloud computing depends on a internet connection.
Even though I've heard Google and OpenOffice can open Microsoft Word's .doc and .docx formats I've never had any luck with this– and suspect the results won't look the same when viewed or printed. In short I think we've come to stale mate with office techie stuff now - the young blades are outsmarting the old experts and there's nothing in between! And so we wait....