Winzip unzips public beta for version 11.0

Corel's Winzip division today announced that it has launched the beta version of Winzip 11.0, which is now available for public testing. New features for the latest version include increased file support, improved WAV compression, read-support for RAR and the ability to preview images in ZIP files.

Winzip, which has more than a 10-year legacy, is one of the most widely used file compression applications, partly because of the constant updates to the software. Version 11.0 has notable improvements on both the zipping and unzipping aspects. For zipping (compressing), there are new additions to the "Job Wizard," which automatically compresses files or data sets per the user's instructions. In version 11.0 Pro, users can also program a log file and/or the actual ZIP file to be sent to themselves via e-mail. According to Winzip, the Job Wizard configuration has also been more streamlined.

On the unzipping side, which is what most general users need Winzip for, support has been added for BZ2 and RAR files. Previously, data sets compressed in these extensions were inaccessible through Winzip. The company also says that compressing a WAV file on 11.0 does not adversely affect the sound quality in the file, as it did in previous versions.

Finally, the last major change for 11.0 is the ability to see thumbnails of all images compressed into a compatible format, in the Winzip window, before extracting them.

With 10 previous versions under its belt, Winzip still continues to expand on what is fundamentally a very basic utility. As Edwin Siebesma, in charge of Winzip, puts it, "Although we have not lost focus on the basic zipping and unzipping, we have added a lot of additional functionality to facilitate the use of ZIP files when emailing, backing up data, protecting data, installing screen savers and software, working with images and much more."