[clug] Microsoft wants to bring exFAT to the Linux kernel
George at Clug
Clug at goproject.info
Fri Aug 30 05:28:23 UTC 2019
On Friday, 30-08-2019 at 11:58 Kim Holburn via linux wrote:
> > ExFAT, the Extended File Allocation Table, is Microsoft’s file system for flash drives and SD cards, which launched in 2006. Because it was proprietary, mounting these drives and cards on Linux machines generally involved installing additional software. Today, however, Microsoft announced that it is supporting the addition of exFAT to the Linux kernel and publishing the technical specifications for exFAT.
"To this end, we will be making Microsoft’s technical specification for exFAT publicly available to facilitate development of conformant, interoperable implementations" is that releasing rights/patents to exFAT, as in making exFAT FOSS ?
> > “It’s important to us that the Linux community can make use of exFAT included in the Linux kernel with confidence. To this end, we will be making Microsoft’s technical specification for exFAT publicly available
> > to facilitate development of conformant, interoperable implementations.”
> > In addition to wanting it to become part of the Linux kernel, Microsoft also says that it hopes that the exFAT specs will become part of the Open Invention Network’s Linux definition. Once accepted, the code would benefit “from the defensive patent commitments of OIN’s 3040+ members and licensees,” the company notes.
> > Microsoft and Linux used to be mortal enemies — and some in the Linux community definitely still think of Microsoft as anti-open source. These days, though, Microsoft has clearly embraced open source and Linux, which is now the most popular operating system on Azure and, optionally, part of Windows 10, thanks to its Windows Subsystem for Linux. It’ll still be interesting to see how the community will react to this proposal. The aftertaste of Microsoft’s strategy of “embrace, extend and extinguish” still lingers in the community, after all, and not too long ago, this move would’ve been interpreted as yet another example of this.
It will take me some time to see that Microsoft has changed. I guess it will take until patents are released to the public, e.g. made FOSS.
'The aftertaste of Microsoft’s strategy of “embrace, extend and extinguish” still lingers'
embrace - (yes, see we did that) Linux subsystem in Windows 10
extend - (yes, we are doing that) exFAT, .Net, Azure
extinguish - (be patent, and we will get there) Patents, Azure becomes required for login authentication
Summary: In an effort to make exFAT (a patent trap) the ‘industry standard’, even inside Linux, Microsoft now wants exFAT inside the very heart of Linux and people are pushing back
Microsoft is now officially inserting patent traps into the kernel used on billions on chips. Sometimes it feels like the kernel is being ‘sold’ to Microsoft by Zemlin et al at the Linux Foundation (they became millionaires by doing so).
> Kim Holburn
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