The big benefit of these online productivity tools is that they are free and available to anyone with an internet connection to download. They work a lot like the expensive counterparts, but without quite all the features. Even with free downloading available, not everyone has access to internet and the know how to do it. I was surprised at how long it took Open Office to download on my computer.
What I plan to make use of is Googledocs. I used this in an earlier thing to create a spreadsheet to share with teachers for book fair sign up. I'm not sure how well it will work, but I am going to give it a try. Years ago many teachers were not very computer savvy, but that has changed in the last few years. You can't keep up without strong computer knowledge.