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Microsoft Build 2023: Windows 11 to Add Native RAR Support Using Open-Source Library


Windows 11 is set to gain support for additional file compression and archiving formats. At the ongoing Microsoft Build developer conference, the company announced a few new features coming to Windows 11 including native RAR support. The addition of support for multiple file compression formats will allow users to open, extract, and edit archives in various formats without having to install additional third-party tools. The company is yet to reveal when support for the new formats is coming to Windows 11.

On Tuesday, Microsoft announced that it will update Windows 11 with support for TAR (Tape Archive), 7-zip, RAR (Roshal Archive), GZ (Gzip), and other archive formats. The company’s widely used desktop operating system currently supports ZIP files, and users have to download proprietary software like WinRAR or free and open-source software like 7-Zip to open these archives.

Microsoft says that it has added support for additional archive formats using the open-source libarchive compression library that is also used on Linux-based operating systems. The company also claims users can experience “improved performance of archive functionality” while compressing files on Windows 11.

The addition of native support for RAR and other archive formats means that users will no longer need to download third-party apps to access these files. The functionality will also be updated by Microsoft as part of regular Windows updates, and users won’t have to worry about unpatched vulnerabilities from external software — such as the bug in a third-party tool in WinRAR that went unpatched for 19 years.

Other improvements coming to Windows 11 include support for accessing app instances in the taskbar with a click, hiding the date and time, and shutting down apps from the taskbar without the Windows Task Manager. Meanwhile, Microsoft is also adding support for tab tear-out, a feature that allows users to move shells into different windows easily, according to the company.

Google I/O 2023 saw the search giant repeatedly tell us that it cares about AI, alongside the launch of its first foldable phone and Pixel-branded tablet. This year, the company is going to supercharge its apps, services, and Android operating system with AI technology. We discuss this and more on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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