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WinZip whinge.

I work in IT Support. I have done for nearly a decade now. The issues i have to deal with match the trends of the time. I have seen users with important work on corrupted floppy disks become users who put important work on a CD-R without closing the disc become users with important work on corrupted USB memory sticks. As time passes, so do certain user queries.

Or so i thought. I haven’t had any zip file-related questions in years. The more Windows XP, and its inbuilt zip-file-opening capability, became ubiquitous on PCs throughout the land the fewer of those queries were raised. Nowadays, whether you use Windows, Linux or Mac, there’s an inbuilt function for compressing/decompressing zip archives and users seem quite capable of using it. So it came as a bit of a surprise to recently find myself fielding queries about WinZip.

To be a little more precise: I’ve had 3 queries about WinZip within the last week, all to do with the trial period of the program expiring and therefore the user being unable1 to open zip files. I feel like i’ve been transported back to 1999. I’d forgotten all about WinZip – assumed it no longer existed, even – so why is it here in 2012 bothering me? Why is it suddenly getting installed again? Has it started getting bundled on the sly with some other utility? The users in question do not work in the same teams, have not shared any files and seem unable to offer any insight. I’m left wondering if this is just some massive coincidence or the tip of a very annoying little iceberg.

  1. They are, of course, able to open zip archives by changing the default program for .ZIP files back to Windows’ own service.