While working in virtualized environments, we need to pass around virtual machines (a.k.a. virtual appliances) from time to time. Most of the virtual machines I’ve seen for downloading are compressed to save storage and network bandwidth.
Not all the compression algorithms are created equal in terms of compression ratio, compressing speed, and decompressing speed. In most cases, it doesn’t really matter that much with documents and small programs. But it matters a lot with virtual machines whose virtual disk files are much larger than normal files. Any small percentage improvement can result in significant saving on storage and bandwidth.