One piece of news that has resonated with the tech community is the inclusion of native support for .rar files and other compression formats in Windows 11. The software giant, Microsoft, has announced this update on its official blog, unleashing a torrent of opinions and speculation. This development may mean a significant change in the way we handle compressed files.
A new era for file compression
Microsoft is betting on integrating the libarchive open source project into its operating system. This software allows the management of a wide variety of compressed file formats such as tar, 7-zip, rar, gz, among others. Previously, to handle these formats it was necessary to download and install specialized programs, such as WinRAR.
What is libarchive?
Libarchive is a free software project that offers a programmatic library for reading, creating and manipulating different compressed file formats. This way, developers can incorporate these features into their apps without having to build them from scratch.
The impact on WinRAR
The addition of native support for .rar files in Windows 11 could deal a serious blow to third-party apps like WinRAR. This tool has long been the preferred solution for handling .rar files due to the lack of native Windows support for this format. However, with this new update, users will no longer need to install separate programs to manage their archives.
A change in the market
There is no denying that this update from Microsoft could lead to a significant decrease in the use of WinRAR and similar programs, like my favorite, 7zip. However, this could also push these developers to innovate and find new ways to provide value to their users. Will this be the catalyst for the birth of more advanced archiving features and functions? Only time will tell.
Microsoft’s adoption of libarchive is a clear example of how the software giant is increasingly embracing and appreciating the power of free software. While this may lead to changes in the archiving application market, it also opens up new possibilities for innovation. As more companies follow suit, we could see a future where open source solutions play an increasingly important role in our digital lives.