Microsoft is adding the native RAR, 7Z, and TAR.GZ support to Windows 11. This post from MiniTool Partition Wizard brings a detailed report about the Windows 11 RAR support to you.
Windows 11 Adds the Native RAR Support
At the Microsoft Build developer’s conference in 2023, Microsoft announced many new features that are coming to Windows 11. The key feature is Windows Copilot and other AI functions. Of course, some small but useful features are also introduced like the Bluetooth LE support, the native RAR support, etc.
In this post, I will introduce native RAR support to you. Microsoft said “We have added native support for additional archive formats, including tar, 7-zip, rar, gz and many others using the libarchive open-source project. You now can get improved performance of archive functionality during compression on Windows.”
The libarchive open-source project supports a variety of archive and compression formats. It can read and write tar, pax, cpio, ISO9660, zip, mtree, ar, xar, 7-Zip, and WARC achieve formats. It can read only empty, raw, lha/lzh, rar, and Microsoft CAB format achieve formats. It can write only shar achieve format.
According to The Verge’s report, the support for the new formats should roll out in a new work-in-progress build later this week. In a Build session, Microsoft confirmed that an update to Windows 11 will ship to everyone in September to support opening/depressing these additional archive formats.
In addition, Microsoft plans to introduce a compression feature in 2024 to create such compressed files without the help of third-party tools such as WinRAR, ZIP, 7z, and tar.gz.
Issues to Overcome for the Windows 11 RAR Support
At the time of writing, Windows already had native ZIP support. You can zip or unzip files without any third-party software. One of the reasons why Windows has native support for this file format is that the developer of the ZIP file format opened this file format to people. There won’t be any copyright issues.
Because the ZIP file format has some defects, RAR, 7z, TAR.GZ, or other compression file formats become popular.
7z is an open-source file format and the libarchive open-source project has full support for it. Windows can add the native 7z support by using the libarchive open-source project directly.
TAR.GZ means that a TAR file (a file packaging technology) is compressed by GZIP. The libarchive open-source project can support TAR, but it doesn’t say it supports TAR.GZ. Fortunately, GZIP is also open-source. Windows can add the native TAR.GZ support easily.
The only troublesome thing is the Windows 11 RAR support. RAR is a patented file format. Only the paid software WinRAR can create compressed files in RAR format. other compression software can decompress RAR files. The libarchive open-source project can also only read RAR files.
Therefore, to have the native RAR support in Windows 11, Microsoft needs to solve the copyright issue.
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