Microsoft is going to include exFAT support in the Linux kernel

For many years Microsoft had an endless battle against Linux, with which he earned the hatred of much of the community and above all enough reprisals. But for some years (especially with Microsoft's personnel change) This has changed Well, several Microsoft movements have already been made known in favor of the open source community and especially with Linux.

And it is that recently Microsoft announced in a publication its intentions to include the technical specifications for the exFAT file system y has expressed his will to transfer the rights of use of all patents related to exFAT for free use on Linux.

It should be noted that the published documentation is sufficient to create a portable implementation of exFAT that is fully compatible with Microsoft products. The ultimate goal of the initiative is to add exFAT support to the Linux kernel kernel.


Microsoft ♥ Linux - We say it a lot and we mean it! Today we are pleased to announce that Microsoft supports the addition of Microsoft's exFAT technology to the Linux kernel.

exFAT is the file system developed by Microsoft that is used in Windows and in many types of storage devices such as SD cards and USB flash drives. That's why hundreds of millions of exFAT-formatted storage devices "just work" when you connect them to your laptop, camera, and car.

Members of the Open Invention Network organization (OIN), which include Microsoft, they agree not to make lawsuits pFor the use of its technologies in the components of the »Linux system.

But exFAT is not among them, therefore this technology does not extend to Microsoft's obligations to provide the ability to use its patents.

For those unfamiliar with the exFA file systemYou must know that was created by Microsoft to address the limitations of FAT32 cWhen used in large capacity flash drives.

Support for the exFAT file system appeared in Windows Vista Service Pack 1 and Windows XP with Service Pack 2.

Maximum file size compared to FAT32 expanded from 4GB to 16 exabytes, restriction on maximum partition size of 32GB removed to reduce fragmentation and increase Free block bitmap introduced for speed, limit on number of files in a directory raised to 65 thousand, provided the ability to store ACLs.

The exFAT file system uses 64 bits to describe the file size, allowing applications that depend on very large files.

The exFAT file system also allows clusters up to 32MB, effectively allowing very large storage devices.

To address the threat of patent claims, Microsoft plans to make sure the exFAT driver is included in the next edition of the Linux system definition.

In this way, the patents related to exFAT will fall within the scope of the agreement between the OIN members.

It is noteworthy that previous patents for exFAT were a key link in most of Microsoft's claims, affecting the pre-installation of Linux-based solutions.

Samsung opened the driver with the exFAT implementation under the GPLv2 license six years ago, but it is not yet included in the main Linux kernel due to the danger that Microsoft has filed a patent infringement lawsuit.

There is still a page on the Microsoft website that requires a license to use exFAT and information that more than 100 companies, including the largest OEMs, have licensed this technology.

Also it is important to emphasize that this movement by Microsoft It is not to release the exFAT code (since many will think that it will become open source) when it is not. Microsoft is only releasing the rights of use of exFAT and to reserve any intention of claim or demand together with the members of the OIN.


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