Ok, well if you really want to know the gists about Open office you should talk to a few folks in the linux gang. And since I am one of them here goes a down and dirty.
Open Office is nearing it completion of the beta phase and will soon start with a release candidate phase which will proved a few more tweaks. So what have they been up too?
Well originally openoffice came with a writer/spreadsheet/impress (presentation)/and drawer. These programs worked well, and I used them in law school. The folks as OO have added several needed features and apps to complement their work.
First, they have really worked hard to get formatting from word and excel to integrate with writer/calc(spreadsheet). They have added more features to the presentation which allows its files and those of powerpoint to integrate better than in previous versions.
Second, they looked at their critiques and found a database was lacking, and therefore the began and are nearing the end of base an app that works much like Access. The have also added Math which is useful for many folks in the scientific community.
I saw someone say that they lack an email client. Well that is true, but only because there are fantastic open source alternatives that exist currently. Take a peek at www.mozilla.org
and download thunderbird. There is also a calander app called Sunbird from mozilla. It is a stand alone and its code is the same as the Calendar project that is currently in the works. Some time soon Firefox/Thunderbird/Calendar-Sunbird will operate like a full fledged Oulook/IE combo. There is no need for Open office to detract from making their office products better by investing time in a project that is sufficiently being answered by the crew at mozilla. I recommend all windows users to look at these programs as they provide a safe and stable environment as well as they are totally free under GNU.www.mozilla.orgwww.openoffice.org
I recommend downloading the OO beta as it will have the newer features.