When it comes to archiving files, be it for backup purposes or simpler transferring, one of the first things people think of is probably WinRAR and its proprietary RAR file format. Despite this, there are plenty of others out there, such as the open-source 7-zip, and tar for Unix-like systems. Out of the box, Windows does not support many of these, but Microsoft has announced that it is adding native support for more archive formats to Windows 11.
In the blog post containing the announcement, Microsoft specifically lists four, three of which have already been mentioned above. The third is the gz, another format used by Unix-like systems. As for the rest, the company says that they come from the Libarchive open-source project. As a result “You now can get improved performance of archive functionality during compression on Windows”.
This is good news simply because RAR is just about the most common archive file format the average user will come across, alongside maybe 7-zip. As such, more often than not, one of the first things you do when setting up a new PC is downloading WinRAR for when you inevitably need it sometime down the line. With this update, that won’t be necessary anymore. Though this is but a small part of a wider blog post, most of which is talking about the various AI features that Microsoft is working on.
With that in mind, there’s no mention as to when did Windows 11 get the support for these additional archive file formats, or indeed when they will be added if not already. But perhaps something that most people may be wondering is “what will happen to WinRAR now?”. Granted, those who have paid for it rather than take the constant reminder to do so are probably in the minority. But with that not even being in the equation anymore, it remains to be seen what the response of its makers will be like.
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