Bob- The initial release of MSWord97 did not have the capability to save in (compressed) doc format. Thus, if you saved to RTF or to Doc, you still got uncompressed RTF, although it might have had a doc extension.
Glitch, not enough time, or gotcha for the competition? Who knows, but it sure didn't help the offices who used WordPerfect as well as Word at the time, and it made the "doc" file sizes much larger at a time when hard drives and floppies still tended to be small. John