Originally Posted by Penforhire
All good explanations but I'm not sure I agree with Word documents (DOC or DOCX) being so far from "ebooks." With proper use of Styles and embedded graphics why is it THAT different from, say, epub?
It's from a large for-profit corporation (Microsoft), it's useful, and it's proprietary. Ergo it is "defective" and eeee-vile.
A bit less sarcastically: .doc evolution is tied to MS Office evolution (for obvious reasons) and both change faster than outside forces can reverse engineer it. Since it can't be readily copied by would-be competitors, it isn't broadly supported by those that value open-ness.
Strictly speaking, .doc is an *editable* Document format. And as such is no more an ebook format than .pdf or .xls.
Proper ebook formats are intended for viewing but not for editing so they are primarily concerned about formatting and presentation.
As a result of these different missions, a lot of the .doc functions for comments, annotations, collaboration, and revision tracking can't be mapped to epub. And that is before you get to embedded objects and other active elements in Word docs.
Totally different creatures; think of it as the difference between hammers and pliers. You can hammer nails with a big set of pliers but it's not the best use for that tool.