This week's book giveaways are in the Refactoring and Agile forums. We're giving away four copies each of Re-engineering Legacy Software and Docker in Action and have the authors on-line! See this thread and this one for details.
You could certainly use a ZIP file as a read-only directory with limited functionality. It isn't possible to update an existing ZIP file, and if you had an executable program in the ZIP file, you would have to copy it out to a real directory before you could run it. Likewise you couldn't treat anything else in it as a file.
But apart from that, a ZIP file is a good way to keep a bunch of files together in one place.