"Fast forward 30 *years* and Windows Explorer has finally got "native" support for reading/writing ZIP files. (But no other compressed formats.)"
I remember that already being there by the days of Windows XP, so we could just fast forward ten years. Then again, the way that that is implemented isn't particularly useful; it's just the same interface to view files but it doesn't make archive handling transparent to an application. Fortunately there are libraries like the ones designed for 7zip which can provide a common interface to various compressed files which programs can use to implement better support inside them.