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File type: Microsoft Word Document
The DOC file extension in computing terms is an abbreviation for a document file normally created by a word processing application and serves as the default file format of the Microsoft Word program.
This application is a component of the Microsoft Office Productivity Suite that can incorporate print settings, page formatting, charts, graphs, tables, images, and formatted text among others.
Historically, the use of the DOC file extension only referenced plain-text file formats generated by a wide array of Operating Systems.
By the 1980s, the WordPerfect application made this the default file extension of their proprietary format which at the time was considered as the most dominant word processing application in the computer market. WordPerfect continued to exert its dominance over the word processing industry until Microsoft wrestled the title sometime in the 1990s. From the start, Microsoft Word has utilized the DOC file extension as its standard for its generated files.
Binary DOC file formats usually store more text formatting data compared to other document file standards like RTF (Rich Text Format) and HTML (HyperText Markup Language) which are also less compatible with other word processing programs.
Detailed information 
Category: Text Files
File format: Proprietary
Open with Windows: Microsoft Word or Word Viewer, Writer, Nuance OmniPage Professional
Open with Linux: Writer
The usage of the DOC file format in the context of Microsoft Office Word varies widely as versions up to the Word 97 used a different standard while those generated up to Word 2003 also utilized a different specification.
With the introduction of the Office 2007, the Word 2007 application began adopting the DOCX file extension as its default primarily to signify its XML-based document files. Although the DOC file format is native to the Microsoft Office Word application, there are a host of other programs which support the file extension and have the ability of creating the same file type.
There are also numerous programs from different Operating System platforms that can convert the DOC file types into plain text documents or other industry standards that can include the wv library associated with the AbiWord application.
Because of the proprietary nature of the DOC file extension along with its high level of formatting that includes headers and footers, much data is lost during the conversion process or in the attempt to access it from another word processing software.