WinZip Computing has released WinZip 12.1 featuring the new Zipx format – offering WinZip’s most efficient archives to-date. WinZip 12.1 also makes it faster and easier for users to resize images before sending them via ‘Zip and E-Mail’.

WinZip has significantly advanced the compression and encryption capabilities of Zip files and the new .zipx file extension is the next step in that evolution. By using the most current compression methods to create Zipx files, WinZip 12.1 helps users create their smallest Zip files ever. The new .zipx file extension makes it easier to share highly compressed files with others by making it clear when a file was created using advanced methods and that WinZip 12.1 (or another compatible compression utility) is required to open the file. Users can still create regular “Legacy Zip 2.0” files with WinZip 12.1. In addition, WinZip has documented all of the details associated with creating and reading Zipx files and has made them available for software developers of compression software, anti-virus software, search engines, and other software applications.

The company also updated the WinZip Command Line Support Add-On to reflect the new Zipx file format. This long-time favorite among WinZip power users is a free download for all registered users, and is ideal for quick zipping and unzipping from the command line, and for automating repetitive tasks using batch files or scripts. The recently released WinZip Self Extractor 4.0, a powerful, separately licensed tool to create advanced Self Extracting Zip files, supports the new Zipx file format as well.

While Zip remains the most common archive format, WinZip believes that Zipx will deliver added benefits to consumers by helping them share their digital content faster and more easily than ever before. Additionally, the enhanced Zip and E-mail functionality in WinZip 12.1 makes e-mailing digital images (like photos) more efficient by resizing JPEG files and bundling them in one attachment. With a few simple clicks the user can e-mail one compressed file that contains several digital images, rather than sending multiple separate e-mails with large attachments that can clog the recipient’s inbox. The recipient simply extracts the images from the compressed file and views them like any attached image. And if they have WinZip Pro, they can view the photos with the internal image viewer without having to extract them first.

Zipx has been added to the list of file formats currently supported, which includes RAR, 7Z, BZ2, LHA and LZH, and many others. Because WinZip supports such a wide-range of file types, it’s unlikely that users will encounter a file that WinZip can’t handle.

Pricing and availability

Winzip 12.1 Standard & Pro are currently available in Australia as online downloads or as retail box versions from retail stores with a suggested retail price of $64.95 and $99.95 inc.GST respectively. Winzip is compatible with Windows Vista, Windows XP & Windows 2000.