OpenOffice.org has a feature that lets you automatically save documents in Microsoft Office format. Save Writer as Word, save Calc as Excel, etc. This lets your users send out documents to the outside world without having to remember to save in MS format first.
Choose Tools > Options > OpenOffice.org > Load/Save and use the lists in the bottom half of the window.
Likewise, you can save an OOo document in MS format by choosing File > Save As, or by choosing File > Send > Document as [microsoft format for that document type].
However. There's a but. It's not a huge but, but it's significant.
In some versions of OpenOffice.org, the following features don't work when you save a Writer document in Word format. It's not just the automatic saving, it's saving in Word format through File > Save As, as well. So the only way to get around it is to save as PDF (click the PDF icon on the toolbar or choose File > Export as PDF).
This isn't a complete list; please add your own through comments. I just tested all of these on the standard 2.3 release.
Mail merge prints field names, not content. If you save your mail merge document in Word format, then print, all you'll get is the names of the fields, like Firstname, rather than the data, like Bob.
Background graphics disappear. If you choose to put a graphic in the background of a header footer or page, under Format > Page, the graphics will disappear when you save in Word format.
Custom frame, page, and list styles get screwed up This one is an issue because page styles are the basis for doing so much really good, powerful stuff. (I hope this is on the list of things to fix, and/or not a problem in other builds.) I just tested, in 2.3, a file I'd created with custom page styles to automatically switch from a page style with no page number on the first page footer to a page number on subsequent page footers.
If you insert page breaks between page styles with Insert >
Manual Break, and the Break With feature in the Text Flow tab of a paragraph style, do preserve more formatting
than the Next Style feature in the Organizer tab, which preserves
nothing. The headers and footers are preserved in the first two
approaches, as are page borders and jumps from page 2 to page 66.
Landscape versus portrait is also preserved.
However, no background formatting is preserved, and the page style names are changed to Default for the first one, Convert1 for the second, and so on.
If these are issues for you, please vote to have the following bugs prioritized as things to work on. (I'm actually having trouble bringing up the OOo issue tracker right now; I think these are correct but I will check them later.)