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WinZip releases new System Utilities Suite, we go hands-on

Most people know WinZip for its compression products, but with more and more people using Windows's built-in file compression utilities, WinZip is expanding into previously unexplored territory with the new System Utilities Suite. The system optimization tool, debuting today, packs 20 separate utilities, each with its own UI, own Start Menu entry, etc, though the Suite fortunately pulls everything together into an easily accessible 'master utility' that I explore in the video below.

The master utility serves as a desktop or start screen for the package's complete tool set, and offers quick access to a three-click process that optimizes the registry, removes temporary ("junk") files, scans and updates drivers, and more. This would be the first thing new users would run, and once that's done, they could use each of the other tools as needed (or according to their comfort level) to optimize specific aspects of their Windows PC. System Utilities is aimed both at novice users and more advanced nerds; it leans more towards the "advanced" end of the spectrum, as the sheer wealth of tools it offers may appear daunting. There's a tool for just about every purpose, starting with a Duplicate File Remover, through a Registry Cleaner and Optimizer (packaged as two tools), all the way to a Secure Encryptor for sensitive files. There's even a 'Game Optimizer,' which is a full-fledged virtual machine (a "computer in a computer") running your game as its single application, with support for custom keymaps and other goodies. Some of this may sound similar to what CCleaner offers, but as you can see, System Utilities is far more comprehensive.

As you may have noticed, System Utilities uses short, descriptive names, so that even non-expert users would be able to find the right tool at the right time. This is a step in the right direction, but I think for many users, just seeing so many Start Menu entries could be quite confusing.

For $39.95, System Utilities is good value for money, but only for users who are not afraid to dive into the wealth of different tools and find out what each does. For novice users who want to take things to the next level, it's a good gateway from a trusted company. Advanced users who like to keep their PC in tip-top shape could certainly cobble up a collection of loose freeware utilities, but they might also enjoy the cohesive feel of one well-built suite. I know I do.

You can watch me taking my first steps with System Utilities after the jump.

Note: We're going to be running a 10-license giveaway of WinZip System Utilities later on today, so keep your eyes peeled and your RSS reader open!

Tags: apps, ccleaner, features, hands-on, productivity, system utilities suite, SystemUtilitiesSuite, utilities, windows, winzip