WinZip Universal now available - an anachronism, or just niche?

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As the app title suggests, this is the classic Windows application WinZip, but recoded and packaged as a Universal Windows Program, equally as home on the phone as it is on the PC. It's available now in the Store, see the quote and link below, plus some caveats from me - isn't this a utility somewhat out of time? 

Of course, the main reason for existence for ZIP files and utilities like WinZip in the first place (I remember registering the first shareware version and getting it on 3.5" floppy disk back in the 1990s!) was to reduce the size of groups of files to save on costly data bills (online time, in those days, we're talking dial-up, bulletin boards and CSD!). While today the exact size of non-media files (e.g. documents) is irrelevant to almost everyone, since a few extra MB here or there has a trivial cost, and media files are already heavily compressed, so won't compress any further. The only remaining use case for an archiver like this is to group files together, for example a set of source code files or documents associated with a particular theme or project. 

Add in that Windows Explorer (on a PC) and Finder (on a Mac) both have native compression and decompression routines built-in for free and you can start to see why WinZip isn't anywhere near the essential utility it used to be, 20 years ago. After all, when was the last time, on a PHONE, that you needed to create a ZIP (or similar) archive?

However, it's another high profile name to arrive at the UWP table, so here goes anyway. From the Store entry:

With a free 20-day trial and an annual subscription for just $7.99 USD, get the full power of WinZip on any Windows 10 PC, tablet or phone with WinZip Universal. Along with more power, more sharing options and more ease of use than ever, WinZip Universal has the muscle you need to safely handle large files on the go.

  • Open 26 compressed file formats, including .zip, 7z, RAR, .zipx and many more, and save to .zip or .zipx file formats.
  • Zip files and folders for fast, easy sharing.
  • Connect to your clouds-zip, unzip and share with seamless support for world-leading Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, OneDrive and European CloudMe cloud storage services-without installing other apps.
  • Protect before you share with passwords and military-grade encryption.
  • Squeeze files even more, including JPGs, with the exclusive .zipx compression format.

With the strength of the world's #1 Zip utility at your fingertips, and deep integration with your social accounts and cloud drives, WinZip Universal makes it easy to securely share files from anywhere.

A couple of screenshots of WinZip Universal in action on the phone:


You can grab the trial here in the Store. Comments welcome - maybe you have specific needs which involve very large (>10MB) uncompressed files and for which this is ideal? I'm sure there must still be some niche use cases for WinZip on a phone in 2016.

Source / Credit: Store