How writing zip support for Windows almost cost its creator his job at Microsoft

These days, we take Windows' built-in zip support for granted, even if we prefer to use an alternative tool like 7-Zip. The story of how Microsoft added zip functionality to its operating system is an interesting one, and the guy responsible for it reveals how its creation nearly got him fired from his job at the tech giant.

Dave Plummer is a retired operating system engineer for Microsoft who worked on MS-DOS and Windows 95, among other things. He wrote the zip file support for Microsoft’s Windows 95 Plus pack, a feature which became an integral part of Windows 98 onwards and which, in his own words, "hasn’t really changed all that much in the 30 years since."

A few months after Dave started working for Microsoft in 1993, he created a tool called Visual Zip for Windows, which he coded at home and sold in a side hustle. Even though he'd got permission to do this, someone on the Windows 95 shell team took exception to his program and tried to get him fired over it.

Fortunately -- spoiler alert -- Dave’s job was ultimately saved, and things worked out just fine, but it was touch and go for a while.

Dave tells the whole amusing story in a new video on his Dave’s Garage channel which you can watch below.

Image Credit: Dgmata/

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