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Aside from macro compatibility, which I understand isn't there, how compatible is OpenOffice... both with reading files and creating files?
I've opened many different MS docs, and they've all opened / saved / changed just fine.
UI is nice enough, like rcj said, so many features I'll probably never use. :)
So far, it's opened all (4 or 5 tried, I don't have many) the prior and current doc files I've tried, so I believe it would keep you from being odd-man-out. Calc opened the one Xcel file I tried just fine, too.
I've used both open and star, and I haven't functionally found anything which puts the other ahead, but price wise OpenOffice is the way to go.
I remember reading somewhere that if you embed an object in OpenOffice, then reopen in MS Word the embeded object is gone. Works fine the otherway around though.