These are some great articles, written by Chris Pratley, a group program manager at Microsoft, (Blog, Bio) about the history of MS Word.  These articles are too good for me to pass up. 

 

Very interesting history and perspective.

 

Let’s talk about Word

http://weblogs.asp.net/chris_pratley/archive/2004/04/27/120944.aspx

 

 

Word Myths and Feedback

http://weblogs.asp.net/chris_pratley/archive/2004/04/28/122004.aspx

 

In the second article, I think, you’ll find one possible origin of the belief that Microsoft will try to “Lock people In” to their file formats, etc.