I have been using OpenOffice.org/LibreOffice since the first releases. They have worked well for me and many others for many years. The bugs are few and far between and the price is right. A recent review found:
“For the most part, LibreOffice and Microsoft Office have the same suite of software with the exception of one thing: Outlook. LibreOffice doesn’t come packed with an email client, so if you need Outlook or an equivalent, you won’t find it here. The rest of the suite is pretty similar.
It’s pretty obvious that if money is tight, LibreOffice is the office suite for you. Even still, if Microsoft Office isn’t actually required at your work (especially with Outlook), LibreOffice has a lot to offer these days. LibreOffice also supports extensions, which means you can customize the look, features, and feel of the suite to suit your needs. Fortunately, the two office suites usually play nice together, so if you want to give LibreOffice a try for a few days you should be able to continue working with documents you’ve already created in Microsoft Office (though as stated above, you may run into a few small issues).”
The fact is that Outlook is not essential for business. There was a time when Outlook did not exist and the world did continue to rotate. There are plenty of alternatives that work to do the same things available as FLOSS and running on any OS. While M$’s office suites is widely used it is not universal and should not be as it is designed to enforce M$’s monopoly on the desktop OS.
One can judge the ubiquity of M$’s office suite from the numbers. In the last fiscal year, M$ raked in $24billion in revenue for the “Business” division, mostly the office suite. In the same time 300 million desktop and notebook PCs were sold so even if every new PC got a new licence for the office suite, the ASP would be $80, far less than the typical price ranging up to $hundreds. Even assuming that the office suite is moved from one PC to the next and that folks just upgrade their office suites, that amount of money spread over six to eight years average life of a PC, one would be hard-pressed to figure that most PCs run the office suite. There are over 1000million desktop/notebook PCs in use. A renewal cost of $24 per annum times 7 years is still only $168 (Office Pro ~$400, Home and Business ~$200). Certainly, home users and students have better uses for money.
I would recommend LibreOffice to anyone thinking they need an office suite. You will save even more if you can ditch that other OS with GNU/Linux. Without the lock-in of M$’s office suite, you will be halfway to Freedom.