OpenOffice has a native version out there, some curious bugs in the install befell me, never the less, if you are root and it isn't on a FAT32 (windows) partition you should be fine.
That said, Redhat 7.1 is REALLY REALLY old (sorry. you knew that).
to get a newer version of your distro of choice (why redhat???) check their website, they usually have a link telling you were to buy. Alternatively check the newsagents, they generally have a computer mag or two which have a current linux distro on the cover, in fact there often are dedicated linux mags that contain several distro's and instructions on installing them etc.
A good place to look is the debian webpage (i know they have good info on distributers all over the world) check http://www.debian.org
and check their where to buy, and it will give you links to mail order places the world over.
as for wine, wine is good, i use it myself to play windows games (well winex actually, you have to pay for that though) which is great (doesn't really replace windows for games really though [better range on windows, but winex is getting there])
Applications can be run using codeweaver's crossover plugin (which you can find as a free trial thing as i recall) eitherway there are plenty of applications out there that do what you want on linux ... maybe not the way you are used to, but better because the people that code them focus on what real users need, and not what microsoft wants users to believe they need (like say a talking and ever present paper clip)