Writing document formats -- do I need to convert?

Background: I got a new laptop last week. Previously, my writing program was Corel and my files saved as wpd. However, Corel is not compatible with Windows 8.1, so I downloaded OpenOffice. The wpd files converted to XML 1.0 text documents – which, when I tried to open them, were complete gibberish.

While browsing the OpenOffice community forum for solutions, I saw a recommendation for LibreOffice and downloaded LO (actually, it wouldn’t download until the third try, but whatever…) Now all those documents have changed to OpenOffice.org 1.1 Text Documents – and they opened in LO just fine!

My question: do I need to convert these documents to a more recent format so that other people (who may not be running LO) can read them? I have at least 500 separate files.

If you want to provide files to people using other applications than LibO, you need to look at these other applications to see if they can open the format you have now.

The following links might provide you a first information:
Does Libre Office fully support microsoft .xlsx and .docx file formats? - #4 by oweng

Thank you for your reply. I had gone to your recommended link prior to posting my question and it didn’t specifically address my concern.

What I did was re-phrase my search into the question, “Does MS Word open OpenOffice 1.1 text documents?” To summarize the results of that search: Microsoft chooses to not support open source formats, regardless of which format it is. Text files need to be saved as .doc or pdf.

If I misinterpreted that information, please correct me.