Is there a way I an compress a file in Linux for Windows? I recently sent a compressed folder to a Windows recipient and I don't think they were able to open the file.

just use normal tar. WinZip for MS-Wiondows knows how to uncompress it.

There is also 7zip which will generate standard zip-compatible archives. Win7 can also handle gziped files - at least it works for me. :-) So, what did you use to compress folder and contents?

There is also the zip command:

zip my_archive -r directory_to_zip/

will create my_archive.zip