Try forcing Open Office to open that file, and tell me what it says. If it is just a couple of files you might be able to save them as normal .doc files in Windows and then open them in Linux. You might also want to try Google Docs and Microsoft's Web Based Office.
answered Jul 11 '10 at 22:06
very interesting comment from the open office community. The ms works documents can rarly be opened by anything else. http://www.oooforum.org/forum/viewtopic.phtml?t=12017
ms works is a cheap non community supported format, hence why that comment and the possibility that open office can not edit those file type.
answered Jul 11 '10 at 22:39