Which do you feel more comfortable with... exe or zip?

29 replies
Hi Warriors,

Just looking for a little advice.

I've got a peice of software I would like to
offer in an upcoming WSO. But after sending
PM's to a couple of warriors for a free review
copy, I get replies stating they won't take a
look because it's an .exe

Is this just because I've sent a PM?

Would you download an exe within a WSO?

Thanks,
Andy
#comfortable #exe #feel #zip
  • Profile picture of the author dorim
    I would not open an .exe file.
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    • Profile picture of the author Christophe Young
      As long as you have virus protection installed on your computer, I don't see why it's a problem. I open exe files all the time.
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  • Profile picture of the author andymurray
    Yeah thats what I thought Christophe.

    Andy
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    It's not necessarily a problem of safety, it's a problem of perception - and that's all it takes to make a difference to your bottom line.

    The merits of either type can be argued all day long, but what counts is how your potential customers will feel about it. This subject has come up on the WF before, and a large majority said they wouldn't download an .exe.

    For the record, I won't open .exe files if there is anyway to avoid it. But have no problem with .zips.

    All the best,
    Michael
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    • Profile picture of the author vossman
      Zips tend to be more friendly with firewalls, spam filters, etc vs exe files. I think overall people have more comfort in zip files only because you can see the contents of the package rather than a self extracting zip which you don't know what it will do when you open it.
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      • Profile picture of the author spicer
        zip by far is more trusting for most people. I for one cringe when I get an exe. It is something psychology or maybe a little mental I do not know. Whatever, it is my heart actually skips a beat and I actually get a little ticked off at the provider. Fair or not that is the way I feel and I know that are a lot of people that do not like nor trust exe's.

        I know I am safer with virus protection, but that only protects against mostly known issues. Also if I give the exe permission to install there are all sorts of things that can be done that will not trigger anti-virus that I would not want to happen. I have been working with and supporting computers for almost 30 years now and the last few years I have been a security analyst. If I had a $1 for every system I that I have seen horrendous things done to it by the user installing an exe even though the machine had anti-virus software installed and up to date I may not be able to retire, but I would be well on my way.

        An exe hides what it is doing and has a better than average potential for doing bad things without being discovered. A zip file allows us to see what is in the package and what we are using.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tyvan
    ZIp...NEVER go with a .exe
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  • Profile picture of the author andymurray
    Feedback has been great. Thankyou.

    About the zip...

    When you open it you'll see the exe and still need to
    extract then execute it to run the program. So what
    is the difference?

    Thanks,
    Andy
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    • Profile picture of the author JeffLam
      Originally Posted by andymurray View Post

      Feedback has been great. Thankyou.

      About the zip...

      When you open it you'll see the exe and still need to
      extract then execute it to run the program. So what
      is the difference?

      Thanks,
      Andy
      The difference is that with a zip, the user has more reaction time to detect a virus. Or at least that is what I believe.

      It also does not help that most virus files are .exe. All process virus files (viewed via ctrl alt delete) are .exe.

      Thus yes, majority of it is a psychological thing.
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  • Profile picture of the author MunkMurray
    even though I have virus protection and I'm not afraid of .exe files,
    I agree with Michael, it's not something you want your customers to think about.
    just make it a ZIP file and solve this issue for good
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Lear
    I'm not really sure you need to zip it if there's there's just an .exe file in the zip file.

    I can't see the problem with the exe, as long as you explain it has been fully tested on a variety of virus software etc. Plus the end user can also scan the file first before they execute it. (I take it that it doesn't self extract upon download, people don't like this, so you can explain it's not one of those too.)

    I think you'll be fine with it, but zip it anyway if that's what people say they want?

    Good luck with your WSO, I'll look out for it.

    Paul.
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Okay, reality check, people.

    It's SOFTWARE. Of COURSE it's an EXE file. What else could it possibly be?!

    I swear, sometimes I wonder.
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
      Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

      Okay, reality check, people.

      It's SOFTWARE. Of COURSE it's an EXE file. What else could it possibly be?!

      I swear, sometimes I wonder.
      Agreed, time for a real reality check.

      You know an EXE doesn't really matter. I know it. BUT, it's all about perception. Whether you want to accept it or not, the vast majority of people are bothered by directly downloading an EXE file.

      The difference is that with a ZIP people feel like they can view the contents of the file - even if an EXE is what's included in the ZIP.

      So, it doesn't matter if people are irrational about not downloading EXEs, what counts is that they are anxious about doing so - and THAT can have a big impact on sales.

      Look at it this way, you can have the download as a ZIP. Or, you can have it as an EXE and then waste time convincing leery customers that it's safe, or process a lot of refunds. That's the reality.

      All the best,
      Michael
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      • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
        Originally Posted by Michael Oksa View Post

        You know an EXE doesn't really matter. I know it.
        And anyone volunteering to test a new program BEFORE it's offered as a WSO should know it.

        Shouldn't they?
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  • Profile picture of the author Emma Stery
    I will gladly click on a link to download a .exe but I know from dealing with many, many newbies that they're told to never download a .exe so for them.. I'd zip it. It's just an extra step and may bring more people "peace of mind" but then you may have to deal with the tech support emails.. "What's a zip?"
    Also.. most emails won't allow you to send a .exe or accept one, you have to zip it anyways.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason_V
    Yes, most people don't want anything to do with an .exe file. You're better off just going with the .zip file. I think Michael's post above me nailed it perfectly.
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    • Profile picture of the author Salespectus
      Your potential prospects have responded by saying they don't like exe files, so give them a zip file.

      As other posters have mentioned above, exe files are perceived to be connected to viruses and most people (especially non-techie) don't want to install them.

      Maybe you should also tell your prospects that the software has been tested virus free with a few screen shots of what they will see when they install it.

      Also give them clear cut instructions on how to install and uninstall if they are not happy with it.

      Cheers
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    Sorry, one more point.

    How many people will pass on a download BECAUSE it's a ZIP vs. how many will pass because it's an EXE?

    I don't think anybody will say, "Oh, gee whiz! That's a ZIP file? I better not download it", BUT some people WILL (rational or not) think that about an EXE.

    That's the way I look at it, but it's your WSO.

    Regardless of which way you go, I hope it does really well and brings you much success.

    All the best,
    Michael
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  • Profile picture of the author greff
    I avoid .exe files 95% of the time unless it is from a very trusted source.
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  • Profile picture of the author Natraj Jayaraman
    If it's a direct link to an .exe file then yes, I'd have concerns.

    Logically, a simple download page with an option to download the .zip version should work.

    You could also have a free virus scan of some sort on the page, to increase security.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mohammad Afaq
    Many people don't have antiviruses on their computers and they are also scared about identity theft so it is possible that you can have a hard time telling people it is OK to open a .exe file.

    I am OK with opening .exe files because my computer is totally secure.
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  • Profile picture of the author GarrieWilson
    And what about the people who have no clue what a zip file is? LOTS of people fit this but each one downloads & launch exe files.

    Truth is, it depends on the target market and what you are selling.

    Someone mentioned putting a virus scanner on the download page, DO NOT. It will put the possibility in their mind when more than likely there was none.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    I think the best answer is to offer it in both formats.

    It doesn't really take that long to upload an additional file and create a link to it. People will choose the one they are most comfortable with.

    @CDarklock - Yes, they should. But that doesn't mean they will.

    ~Michael
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  • Profile picture of the author andymurray
    Thanks a lot guy's... it's been a real eye opener.

    I'm so used to relying on my virus scanner for any
    potential threats when downloading .exe that I
    never thought it could be an issue.

    Now I know different.

    Michael, like Jason said nailed it. Perception.

    Thanks again,
    Andy
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  • Profile picture of the author Randy Meirndorf
    As a side note, zip files are compressed and use less bandwidth and HD space.
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  • Profile picture of the author dave147
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    • Profile picture of the author Sean Kelly
      The filename is important as well..

      Name it PRODUCTNAMESetup.exe and there is a very good chance I'll run it.
      Name it xyf13z.exe and there is zero chance I'll run it no matter who you are.

      Sean
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