For many other reasons I use Neo Office instead of Microsoft Office. It's a free open source suite of programs from Sun Microsystems that does everything Office can and more. It reads and writes all the office file formats including the older ones from a time when Mac PowerPoint files were not compatible with PC PowerPoint files.... You get the idea. But one feature I rarely see mentioned is the extremely robust PDF export. So you can open a native .doc file (maintaining all the Microsoft formatting) and then export as a PDF with complete security, font, compression, and versioning control, none of which the generic printer PDF export does. The latest port is always at neooffice.org
App Of course your Office documents can always be converted to PDF and sent as an email attachment to any email program that supports the format. But for me, I think this is all but essential. The benefit is that you can use Microsoft Office as easily as Word, it looks pretty much the same, it does all the other boring things that Word does. You're free to use Office's free tools. You just won't get the full benefits and benefits are never worth losing what's already there because Microsoft is very stingy with its support and updates. “They” just don't want any competition... They're just not that competent. We've tried to do it ourselves! All I ever wanted (in a commercial suite) was a program from Microsoft that works like Word (I've written about this idea a number of times) and didn't.