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ALZip is an archive and compression utility from ESTsoft for Microsoft Windows.



Originally ALZip was developed in 1999 as an internal application at the South Korean software company ESTsoft in response to employee frustration with using the English interface in WinZip.

The Korean interface was immediately well received[1] and later that year ALZip was publicly released[2][3][4] as freeware[5]. In just over a year ALZip became the most popular zip program in Korea[6] and by December 2001 was the top downloaded software[7][8] in the country. By 2004 it had reached a 70% market share in South Korea[9] . The popularity of the software and the ALZ archive format[10] played a large role in earning ESTsoft a place in the Digital Innovation Awards Top 100 Companies in South Korea[11] with the software taking special mention.

Early in its development ALZip introduced the ALZ file format to deal with file size limitations of the ZIP file format. ALZ compression has no theoretical upper limit for file sizes, as they are only limited by operating system limits or the amount of available storage. The file format has become common in Korea.

The first English version was released in 2002. Since then, support for over 20 languages has been added.

Licensing changes

Originally ALZip was released as pure freeware, however in October 2001 changed to free for home use, with government usage requiring a software license. In April 2002, business license was also introduced [12], commercial usage[13]. Licensing was based on the honor system, and there were no nag screens.

With the version 7 release, the license was changed from freeware to adware, displaying downloaded banner ads, and finally beginning 1 December 2008, all new releases are shareware requiring a paid license.[14]

Naming and mascots

The name "ALZip" was chosen, as the AL part in ALZip is a transliteration from the Korean aljip (Hangul: 알집), literally EggZip. Other ALTools feature similar egghead cartoon characters as mascots for each program.

Additionally, ALZip integrates into the "New Folder" function of Windows Explorer, where new folders are created with the option of using custom icons and names.[15].

Issues on file format

In 2003, there was a controversy over ALZip's own compression format ALZ, when a developer of another Korean compression utility, "빵집" insisted that ALZip users were forced to use the ALZip archiver when decompressing ALZ files. He also insisted that ESTsoft does not offer decompression libraries, and third-party archiver developers have used reverse engineering to develop their own algorithms.[16]

The current version of "빵집" supports ALZ format.[17]

See also

Comparison of file archivers


  1. Jeong, Jong Oh (1999-11-01). "HOW: 한글 지원 국산 압축 유틸리티 3종" (in Korean) (Magazine). HowPC 1999 (November): 308–311. 
  2. Lee, J. N. (1999-08-23). "모든 압축파일 자유자재로 풀어줍니다" (in Korean). Yonhap News (Yonhap). 
  3. Yoon, H. J. (1999-08-30). "압축유틸리티 '알집' 발표" (in Korean). 전자신문 (Chunjashinmun). 
  4. Wi, Yoonhee; Hyunjung Ji (2003-02). "PC 유틸리티는 쉽고 편하게, 알잡에서 알툰즈까지" (in Korean) (Magazine). Microsoftware (Microsoftware) 2003 (02): 152–155. 
  5. Han, Sujin (11 2002). "CEO of the Month: 국산 소프트웨어의 자존심" (in Korean) (Magazine). Popular Science 2002 (11): 90. 
  6. "Most used compression program poll". 2001-02-09. Retrieved 2001-02-27. 
  7. Maeilkyungjae IT Internet (2001-12-03)
  8. Choi, Yeonjin (2001-12-19). "2001 디지탈 이노베이션 大賞 수상업체" (in Korean). Hankooki (Hankook Ilbo). 
  9. "Korea Software Industry Association" (in Korean). 2004 report. 
  10. Hanguk Ilbo (2001-12-20)
  11. "디지탈 이노베이션 大賞" (in Korean). Hankook Ilbo (Hankook Ilbo): pp. 2. 2001-11-28. 
  12. Wi, Yoonhee; Hyunjung Ji (2003-02). "PC 유틸리티는 쉽고 편하게, 알잡에서 알툰즈까지" (in Korean) (Magazine). Microsoftware (Microsoftware) 2003 (02): 152–155. 
  13. "Program Deliberation and Mediation Committee" (in Korean). 2003-06 Edition. 
  15. Wi, Yoonhee; Hyunjung Ji (2003-02). "PC 유틸리티는 쉽고 편하게, 알잡에서 알툰즈까지" (in Korean) (magazine). Microsoftware (Microsoftware) 2003 (02): 152–155. 

External links

Template:Compression Software Implementations

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