Microsoft Word 97 established the word processing application as a market leader. During an unprecedented period of popularity in personal computers, Microsoft Word quickly found itself in almost all businesses and many homes, establishing itself as the de facto standard for creating written documents. As part of the Office 1997 software package, users were able to use the program to create simple documents and quickly became familiar with the toolbar and menu driven user interface which remained consistent through later releases up to 2003.
The DOC file extension has become so synonymous with word processed files that it is arguably the most widely known file extension. Used for files created by Microsoft Word for DOS through to Word 2003, the format has seen a huge number of improvements but was superseded with the release of Microsoft Word 2007. Many users of Word 2007 continue to use the old DOC format to ensure compatibility with other users from different businesses.
DOCX was introduced with Microsoft Word 2007, it's based on open XML and uses ZIP compression for smaller file sizes. The benefit of having open XML is that it is able to be read by applications, platforms and Internet Platforms. However to open it using any Microsoft Word that predated 2007 would require DOCX to be converted into a normal doc format.
DOCX improves file and data management and data recovery. DOCX extends what is possible with the binary files of earlier versions. Any application that supports XML can access and work with data in the new file format. The application does not need to be a Microsoft product it can be any application. Users can also use standard transformations to extract or repurpose the data. In addition, security concerns are drastically reduced because the information is stored in XML, which is essentially plain text. Thus, the data can pass through corporate firewalls without hindrance.
Microsoft Word 2007 Microsoft Word 2008 (MAC) OxygenOffice Professional (Linux) Word 2010