ICEOWS is written to compress or extract archive files easier. You can extract, test, read properties and comments or view compressed files without an external program. If the archive is an ICE, ARJ or ZIP, you also can add, update and delete files stored within the archive. It integrates all of these functions in the same explorer interface that Windows has. It adds a new ICE format which is excellent for reducing the size of text files.
Reviewing 4.20b (Dec 3, 2006)
I have used this program for 3 years now. Why? Because it does its job reliably and without fuss. It's sort of like a desk chair... You use it and have come to take for granted that it will be comfortable and hold your weight every time you use it. Despite the harsh review below mine, this piece of software is worth looking at if you want a convenient tool that has no learning curve and that runs without bogging down your computer. Other programs have more bells and whistles, but they usually end up making the process of working with files slower and/or more difficult. Finally, if you are blind and use a screenreader, this program is easy to navigate with speech. It has some nice keyboard support as well.
Reviewing 4.20b (Jul 26, 2006)
This is a somewhat impressive attempt at ... what it is, but really, what's the point? Why do a handful of kids rave and whine about this sort of "Explorer integration"? What good is it? What's the benefit?
You have an archive. You can either open it in a standard archiver's window (e.g. WinRAR), or in an Explorer window (e.g. ICEOWS). The standard archiver, not surprisingly, has an interface fully geared toward working with archives--so working with it (say, to virus scan files, or what have you) is easier.
OK, so you can open the archive in a regular archiver, or in Explorer. Either way, you have to extract files before viewing them. Either way, those files will be extracted to a temporary folder whilst being viewed. ICEOWS does *NOT* allow you to truly handle files in an archive as if they were regular files (i.e. with full regular context menu support, lack of a need to extract related files such as those linked to in archived HTML documents, etc.)...
Can ICEOWS detect changes in viewed files, and offer to update the archive? No. Can any decent regular archiver? Yes.
So what's the benefit to Explorer integration here? What? Someone, please tell me. No, never mind--there is none.
ICEOWS is just like every other archiver, except it has an interface that is crippled by the fact that it's just a DLL add-in to the existing Explorer shell, rather than a full-blown, ground-up, dedicated archiver.
So, the "benefit" to the fans of this type of archiver is ... drumroll please! ... NOVELTY!
The only difference between using ICEOWS and something like WinRAR is that the former gives you a much-more-limited interface that looks pretty much like a standard Explorer window. It doesn't make sense.
I noticed that, in order to make a self-extracting archive with ICEOWS, you need to use ARJ or ARJ32, which are each $45 (USD) shareware. Can you say "NO THANKS!"...?
I also noticed that when you uninstall ICEOWS (or even simply deselect file associations within it), it doesn't restore the previous values--it simply deletes its own, leaving archive types unassociated. Sloppy.
Reviewing 4.20b (Jun 21, 2006)
I agree with all of Raiko's comments and would only add that this program is so good that you simply forget about it; it is very unobtrusive in its operation.
Reviewing 4.20b (Aug 3, 2004)
IceOws does a lot more than ICE, ARJ & ZIP formats.
As a matter of fact it manages ALL POSSIBLE formats very well.
Next to that, it itegrates better into Windows & Windows Explorer than any other free or shareware archiver.
It has been my choice for a long time already.
S why not more than a 3-rate ?
Because it does not yet integrate well enough into the Windows XP.
Reviewing 4.20b (Aug 3, 2004)
Iceows integrates well into windows, has it's own compression algorithm, is the best shell for arj-files which are still very fast to be made, there are no bugs since Iceows has been under development for a long time, it's a freebie, it can be well recommended to install next to ones favourite archiver.
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