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Re: exFAT -- Microsoft's latest Linux killer?

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____/ Ian Hilliard on Monday 14 Sep 2009 05:24 : \____

> Richard Rasker wrote:
>> A few days ago, I received a help call from one of my users, complaining how
>> she couldn't read the USB drive she borrowed from a family member; it
>> simply wouldn't mount.
>> At first I thought that the device had simply crapped out, but the owner
>> insisted that it was working fine on his Vista machine.
>> After some research I found out that this particular drive had been
>> formatted with something called exFAT. And after some more research into
>> exFAT it would appear that this new file system, while offering significant
>> improvements over FAT32, neatly fits in Microsoft "competition killer"
>> line-up of OOXML and SilverLight:
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ExFAT
>>  "exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table) is a proprietary, patent-pending[1]
>>   file system suited especially for flash drives, introduced by Microsoft
>>   for embedded devices in Windows Embedded CE 6.0 and in their desktop
>>   operating system, Windows Vista Service Pack 1.[3]"
>> http://blog.linuxtoday.com/blog/2009/08/some-answers-fr.html
>>  "Q: Tuxera is an open-source company-- is the new exFAT driver OSS? Will
>>   Linux and other FOSS operating system users be able to use it?
>>   A: Our agreement with Microsoft does not allow us to develop an open
>>   source exFAT driver at the moment.
>>   ...
>>   Q: Who the heck thought it was a good idea invent yet another filesystem
>>   (exFAT), and then make it a closed proprietary filesystem?
>>   A: Ask Microsoft. ..."
>> In short: There's no unencumbered Linux support for exFAT on the horizon
>> yet. And then there's this:
>> http://www.linux-magazine.com/Online/News/Tuxera-Closes-ExFAT-Patent-Agreement-with-Microsoft
>>  "The SD Association, an alliance of more than 1,100 companies using SD
>>   technology, had selected the Microsoft filesystem standard for its SDXC
>>   memory cards."
>> Great. So what happens when devices exclusively supporting exFAT hit the
>> market? You guessed it: no Linux support. This most definitely is something
>> to keep a watchful eye on.
>> And oh, Microsoft's page with licensing information appears only partially
>> functional in Firefox:
>> http://www.microsoft.com/iplicensing/productDetail.aspx?productTitle=exFAT
>> File System Licensing Program
>> (the tabs don't work)
>> But perhaps someone else has more or better information on this?
>> Richard Rasker
> exFAT may be Patent Pending, but that does not mean that it will pass
> the test of originality or even Blinsky for that matter.
> What Microsoft has achieved for the moment is to once again isolate its
> Vista users from exchanging data with XP, Linux and Mac users. It really
> sounds to me like cutting off their nose to spite their face.

They made the same mistakes when changing CD burning formats. See Rasker's
Groklaw article.

Microsoft foolishly believed that most businesses would run Vista
within a year; it even paid IDC et al to utter this rubbish.

Microsoft does most of the same tricks with Vista 7, which is just Vista
that can virtualise... XP!!

- -- 
		~~ Best of wishes

Roy S. Schestowitz      |    #00ff00 Day - Basket Case
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