Microsoft Office (including Word) is not the only fish in the sea. It's just the best-known. I'm a cheapskate, so I use Open Office on my little Linux netbook--it has almost everything Word does.
However, Word is the gold standard for sending email attachments -- be they resumes or college writing assignments. However, there are a number of programs out there that can fake it. Today's link gives you some alternatives.
If you're using a non-MS Word program to prepare your resume, paper, etc., there's an easy way to allow almost any other program to open your document with little or no loss of formatting: rtf. The acronym stands for "rich text format," and is a sort of lingua franca of word-processing programs.
Prepare your document as usual. Save it as usual. Then, open the document and find the "save as" menu. That menu will usually be on the left hand side of whatever menus pull down, and will be in the vicinity of the usual "save" option.
When you select "save as," however, you will see a handful of choices. Find "rtf," and save your document. You'll get a document icon with "rtf" added to the right side after the period (the same place you would have "doc" or "wps" or whatever). You can send that file to just about anyone.