It is a pretty safe bet that your family and friends are just using Microsoft Office as an excuse to avoid talking about Linux.
Sigh, that may be true for a few people, but my guess is that number is pretty small. I use Linux heavily, but if I could have 1 piece of software ported to Linux it would be MS-Office. There is no equivalent to OneNote in Linux-land. Basket Notepads tries; I even tried to help it along, but gave up in the end as it just wasn't going to meet my needs as I evaluated it more. To Evernote users, sorry, it doesn't meet my needs either.
Also, the UI of LOffice is pretty clunky. I find it very slow to use because I have to stop and search for features/commands that I know are there but can't easily find. It's rendering is also only about 95% accurate, leaving artifacts and weird visual stuff on my screen (like it showing me where the margins are but text is shown out of bounds). LOffice is a good attempt and I wish it well because I'd like to see it catch on for more mainstream usage, but it's not there yet. But for a quick view of a MS-Word doc on Linux, it works well enough.