There was, for a time, Microsoft Office Starter. This version of Office was free, but restricted to basic functionality. However, this version of office was only available to OEM resellers - therefore only available preinstalled on a Computer. MS have ended its availability via OEM Resellers.
As said, there is LibreOffice, and also:
Google Doc's Kingsoft office Softmaker Freeoffice (Also great on mobile devices) IBM Lotus Symphony (a little complicated for some, but you'll pick it up)
i personally run libra office as my main office program but i also have installed kingsoft office which is also free, both will open ms office and save docs as .doc the ms office format. hope this helps
david quick question, does kingsoft also work with the new office formats eg ".docx, .pptx, which is the format for office docs from 2007 onwards, the .doc format does work with 2007+ but the newer format does not have backwards compatability.