Updating cross references in word updating mirrored sliding closet doors
Word was in fact broken by design, from the outset -- and it only got worse from there.
Over the late 1980s and early 1990s Microsoft grew into a behemoth with a near-monopoly position in the world of software.
The file format was also obfuscated, deliberately or intentionally: rather than a parseable document containing formatting and macro metadata, it was effectively a dump of the in-memory data structures used by word, with pointers to the subroutines that provided formatting or macro support.
And "fast save" made the picture worse, by appending a journal of changes to the application's in-memory state.
To parse a file you virtually have to write a mini-implementation of Microsoft Word. In the 21st century they tried to improve the picture by replacing it with an XML schema ...
but somehow managed to make things worse, by using XML tags that referred to callbacks in the Word codebase, rather than representing actual document semantics.
Each new version of Word defaulted to writing a new format of file which could not be parsed by older copies of the program.
If you had to exchange documents with anyone else, you could to get them to send and receive RTF — but for the most part casual business users never really got the hang of different file formats in the "Save As ..." dialog, and so if you needed to work with others you had to pay the Microsoft Danegeld on a regular basis, even if none of the new features were any use to you.
Microsoft killed the outline processor on Windows; stalled development of the grammar checking tool, stifled spelling checkers.There is an entire graveyard of once-hopeful new software ecosystems, and its name is Microsoft Word.As the product grew, Microsoft deployed their embrace-and-extend tactic to force users to upgrade, locking them into Word, by changing the file format the program used on a regular basis. I hate Microsoft Word the way Winston Smith hated Big Brother. Microsoft Word is a tyrant of the imagination, a petty, unimaginative, inconsistent dictator that is ill-suited to any creative writer's use. I hate Microsoft Word with a burning, fiery passion.
One of its tactics became known (and feared) throughout the industry: embrace and extend.