Developers have answered the need for better ZIP utilities than Windows provides. We took a spin with CAM unZip, which offers to simplify the process of zipping and unzipping files in Windows but also packs power-user options such as a command-line interface, password compatibility, and the ability to run files upon extraction.
During setup, the installer recommends making CAM unZip your default compression utility, which we selected. The program's efficient interface has File and Help menus and icons for opening archives and creating new ones. The File menu lists Options, but "Option" would be more accurate since there's just one, a checkbox to show hints when you hover the cursor, which we also selected. We clicked Open Zip Archive, browsed to a compressed folder, and opened it in the program's decompression interface. This displayed tabs for extracting and adding/deleting items from the archive and the folder's contents listed below in a tabular view. We selected from options to unzip all or just selected files as well as to Overwrite Existing Files, Re-Create Folders, and Run Set-up After Extraction. Next we browsed to a destination folder and clicked Extract. CAM unZip quickly extracted the files. The Add to/Delete tab was quite similar, only with a drag-and-drop Files to Add box and a password command as well as function-specific controls. Interestingly, the program uses the spelling "Zip" on the Open icon and "ZIP" on the adjacent New Archive button; in any case, adding a new compressed archive was just as easy as unzipping files. CAM unZip even asked before overwriting existing archives, something we like to see. With software, it's not always best to do something and then seek permission! Clicking any zipped folder opened it in CAM unZip, since it was set as our default tool.
CAM unZip is free for personal use, though there's an ad banner along the bottom; a minor distraction at best. We'd like to see full context menu integration, though, for users who'd prefer not to use the program as their default compression tool. However, CAM unZip more than holds its own against comparable ZIP tools.