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files created by Microsoft Word for DOS through to Word 2003, the format has seen a huge number of improvements but was superseded with the release of Microsoft Word 2007.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.
Open Office of which ODT is part of was developed by Sun Microsystems around twenty years ago. The software is open source and is seen as a viable free alternative to Microsoft's Office suite of products. Open Office opens most Microsoft document formats and is is provided as a free download, without restrictions on license. The writer application which produces ODT files is the word processing element of Open Office.
The Open Document Format is an open standard developed by Sun Microsystems under the guidance of OASIS (The Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards). Originally the OpenDocument format was XML based and had at it's root, it now takes the form of a zip file much like Microsoft's DOCX format and takes advantage of the ZIP's compression technology to reduce the overall file size. Writer documents take the form of .odt and .fodt.
Microsoft Office 2007 Microsoft Office 2010 OpenOffice Writer