I think it’s a standard now. It’s basic functionality was built in to the Windows XP Operating System; you could open ZIP [compressed] files without doing anything.
I’ve an associate that absolutely swears by WinZIP. It’s the end all be all of file compression and all he really uses it for is opening ZIP files.
If that’s all, then there’s better options.
One of the most exposed option right now is 7ZIP; it’s a free program that handles many different methods of compression and there’s portable version of it as well- that beats WINZIP right there.
WINZIP has moved on, they’ve realized they can’t compete just on ZIP; they have to handle other formats… they did this cause everyone was passing them by creating a single app that could open and compress all these other compression types.. now they can to, but 7ZIP does this…
ZIP files have had compression and performance stats forever and they never really meant that much in the grand scheme of things. The memory, processor and hard drive account for a lot of those stats- not just the application.
WINZIP advertises many features, one is encryption and 7ZIP has encryption. WINZIP offers a backup option now. WinZip offers Windows integration, so does 7ZIP. This goes on and on…
I think the issue now is the BACKUP option WINZIP is offering a backup option:
WinZip 14 Backup edition
For the first time WinZip 14 is also available in a Backup edition. With its powerful Job Wizard users can automatically back-up important data files and upload data back-ups to an off-site server using the internal FTP client, or burn back-ups to CD or DVD. An automated email notification can even be sent upon job completion.
This is really not a compression function, it’s a BACKUP function. Compression is used in conjunction to a backup and usually COMPRESSION is an option [and almost a must when doing backups] for maximizing storage. And what this means is they’re in the backup software business now.
I need file compression, I need file decompression; if I need a backup program, I’ll look else where.
So for your average users, free options are the way to go…
Hope this helps.