Why? I'm no big fan of Word and doing any sort of layout in Word is painful, but for actual writing I don't see a problem. It has good tools for outlines, TOCs, reviews and comments, tracking changes, footnotes and citations (when combined with EndNote) and just about anything else I've ever needed. Hell the equation editor even lets you use LaTeX if you're into that sort of thing. What makes Word so terrible in your eyes?
And yes I wrote my Masters thesis and most of my other university work in LaTeX, so I know what I'm comparing it to.
- Fields, or anything that uses fields: They're completely broken. They only seem to function in straight-forward case. For e.g: it's very easy for sequences to completely go off whack.
- File comparisons: this feature can only tolerate up to a certain number of pages. It will crash and burn for large documents. I sometimes wonder why this is even offered!
- Formatting: No matter how carefully paragraph spacing etc. is controlled there are always instances where things won't work as intended. A good example is cover pages.
- Hanging and freezing on large documents while Word figures out how to render them.
- Font rendering: it's never great. It never looks the same as what it would on a printer (irrespective of the printer). The Mac version does a decent job, but the Windows version, even with ClearType configured, is not great.
- Lastly, my biggest issue: feature incompatibilities between the versions of Word available on Mac and Windows. The Mac version (the latest O365) release doesn't have a lot of advanced features that are available on Windows such as document signing and style breaks.