To this date I can only wonder the reasons why Microsoft in its infinite wisdom decided to launch an (yet) other file format intended to archive files. Of course that I can imagine the reason, this new archive format was only intended to be manipulated with MS tools and 5 years passed without an efficient way of replicating these archives without them.
In the meanwhile, all the fans of Windows customization suffer in angst for a better way of doing things. Using the tools provided by Microsoft is nice and dandy but let's face it, there is a lot more that can be tweaked and there is no plausible reason to keep this format so closed when it would even be more interesting to Microsoft that more people play with Windows nowadays.
Nowadays we see more tools from other developers that perform similar functions without resource to Microsoft drivers so this project was aimed to bring not only the original intended functionality but also some new nifty features along the road.
- It is available in pure Java. This means that it will run across any mainstream operative system without worries
- It has a nice graphical interface that supports the command line interface as well
- It was specially tailored for Windows PE boot disks, meaning that allows custom XML data and optimization to make these archives load faster
- Last but not least, it is multi-threaded. Executes in parallel several processes that compress the data and create archives faster, especially fast on multi-core machines.
I am happy. It was a long road to reach this far and the tool is finally available for everyone to enjoy completely free of costs. Some will always find a reason to argue and point flaws, as far as I'm concerned: the mission was accomplished, we create archives without admin rights, drivers or silly workarounds.