Thank you for your feedback! Sorry you’re disappointed of course. I’ll try to shed some light.
It seems you treat “self-decryptable files” as the alternative to “people with whom I share files to download AxCrypt“. There are just so many things wrong with the self-decryptable executable though. See http://www.axcrypt.net/blog/avoid-self-decrypting-files/ .
Instead of a limited problematic self-decrypting exe, we now have a fully featured standalone portable software (that you can send along to your recipients if they in fact can and want to accept executable files).
I do agree that full disk encryption is often a good complement for local file security. AxCrypt is at it’s best when sharing files outside of your computer. That’s why we introduced the simple file sharing feature. Sure, PGP does it too – but for IT experts. Normal people will struggle.
We may indeed later introduce some variant of AxCrypt 2 with a fixed license.
AxCrypt 2 is free (with premium features) open source, actively developed, peer reviewed with full specifications and code available here and here. PGP(i)s current status as free, open source etc is very unclear, at least to me. The lastest from Phil Zimmerman is “New developments: As of June 2010, PGP Corp was acquired by Symantec”. Well… The Wikipedia section sheds no further light: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pretty_Good_Privacy .
7-Zip *is* a pretty good alternative for simple password based encryption, but it’s slightly less convenient to use and much less so when sharing. But it’s open source, well respected and very stable. I like it!
AxCrypt compresses all data before encryption, by default, just like 7-Zip.