1 ) They are almost the same. Residents from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macao or some overseas Chinese use traditional Chinese. We residents on the mainland prefer to use simplified Chinese. It's just that we hold different opinions of using characters. You should ask them why. We mainland people don't care as long as can use chracters.
2 ) If you have problems with traditional forms, you can download kingsoft office software=WPS(金山office) which is free of charge. It can turn traditional forms into simplified ones. Just check the button 简繁. Here is the link. http://www.wps.cn/