Word 2008 files disappear or corrupt

On two recent occasions, I was using Word (Office 2008) to write a college assignment on a new Macbook Air 11' (OSX 10.8.5). On one occasion, my document (.docx) disappeared and could only be found by restarting, where it appeared in recycle bin with a new temporary name.

This week, having completed a college assignment and gone to bed, I opened the lid of my Macbook Air next morning to find that my .docx file had been changed to a .pdf. Thich could not be opened, even by changing the name to .doc or .docx.

I had to download a retrieval program with which could see the file contents but not open it.
Finally, in desperation, I managed to open the corrupt Word file using OpenOffice. It opened it as a .html but at least I could copy and paste the contents into a new document.

My Question: Is Office/Word 2008 very unreliable for the new OSX (10.8.5 or 10.9)?
I just read a review saying that Word in Office 2011 also crashes often for one user.
Should I wait for Office 2014 or just use my Windows PC in future for Word?

I'm sticking to OpenOffice for now.

JB

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