There are free downloads for word processing and spreadsheets but I have never used them.
MS Office is retailing for around $125 - $129 for use on 3 computers. This is the "home version". The Professional version which also includes Outlook is around $249 for one computer.
We recently had a computer die on us. Backups were sufficient but on numerous CDs and USBs (well, we hope they were sufficient, we did not use them). We were able to retrieve the data directly from the hard disk. If the data loss is causing problems, I suggest you investigate whether your data is recoverable.
I have only tinkered with 2007 but so far have found it really great. Yes, a few of the menus are tricky to find but once mastered I think it will be much easier.
HINT: For the main actions that were previously listed under "file" you go to the windows icon in the very top left corner, click on it and there they all are.
l did download open office and l think its pretty good however the 2 most important programes l have were created with excel and have the macros open office wont operate my 2 programes.
What ever happened to my computer it looks like the hard drive was wiped clean Maybe it was the millenium bug late.
I will soldier on
thanks so far for the replies