Tipping point

WinZip 10.0 was released today. Hardly anyone noticed.



WinZip is one of those eponymous applications that has outlived itself. It's not that no one compresses data anymore, but WinZip has started the downward spiral into obscurity. At one point, one couldn't get around without WinZip. In the days when hard drives were measured in megabytes and floppy disks were the backbone of the sneaker net, WinZip was The Application, an essential tool in any computer user's kit.



Now, with native support for ZIP files in Windows and open source applications like 7-Zip and Izarc, WinZip's hold on the market is slipping. With no native support for common formats suchas RAR files and the ever increasing irrelevance of compression in a terabyte world, and WinZip's lack of splash isn't hard to imagine.



That's not to say that WinZip 10 won't be a success. But with a slim list of improvements I just don't see a great push to upgrade or purchase. Especially when I can get the essentials for free. Of course, none of this is WinZip's fault; the world has just taken the first major steps away from the need for WinZip. It's a marker of the passing of another standard from the early days of the 'net (ah, wither Z-Modem).



Just think, some day they'll say these kinds of things about monitors and hard drives.

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