Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 18th Sep 2012 21:45 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless Microsoft and RIM have announced that RIM has licensed Redmond's exFAT patents. The press release contains a ridiculous amount of hyperbole nonsense, and if you translate it into regular people speak, it basically comes down to RIM paying Microsoft protection money for stupid nonsensical software patents. Ridiculous articles like like this make it seem as if we're talking about patents on major technological breakthroughs, but don't be fooled: this is because for some inexplicable reason, we're using crappy FAT for SD cards.
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Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Wed 19th Sep 2012 00:13 UTC
ilovebeer
Member since:
2011-08-08

The reason FAT is used on sd cards shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. I'm sure there's already an ancient whine-fest already posted here if you search.

And calling this `paying protection money`? Dial the drama queen'ing back a little, it sounds....dumb.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by ilovebeer
by TechGeek on Wed 19th Sep 2012 02:56 in reply to "Comment by ilovebeer"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

FAT as far as I know is patent free. Fat32 has a patent on it regarding the method of supporting the larger filenames. However, it can be programmed around (as is done in the linux kernel) and the ITC recently found prior art (Linus Torvalds) which should overturn the patent on it. The problem isn't the FAT file system. The problem is that Microsoft refuses to support any free file system which could be used. As such, they are leveraging their monopoly in the desktop market to affect another. That is grounds for anti trust actions. The easy and obvious way to avoid this would be for them to implement ext2/3/4. But then they wouldn't be able to sue over it.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer
by phoudoin on Wed 19th Sep 2012 08:15 in reply to "RE: Comment by ilovebeer"
phoudoin Member since:
2006-06-09

The problem isn't the FAT file system. The problem is that Microsoft refuses to support any free file system which could be used. As such, they are leveraging their monopoly in the desktop market to affect another.


So true.
But their monopoly in the desktop market matters less than it used to.
Today, all major mobile OSes but Windows Phone are perfectly able to support free file systems out of box, making formatting your SD card in FAT less mandatory, except if you often move your SD card out of your phone to your desktop or you pro camera.

And this put Windows Phone in an unique position: being the late competitor, users wanting to switch to Windows Phone may ask more and more to be able to keep their SD card content from their current Android or iOS mobile device without having to reformat first them into exFAT, possibly forcing MS to actually support at least one free file system like ext2/3/4.

May I was Google, I'll push to format by default any new SD card inserted in an Android device to a free file system. Could be a good marketing operation too: see, we don't use patented/proprietary technology that could trap your private data.

That is grounds for anti trust actions. The easy and obvious way to avoid this would be for them to implement ext2/3/4. But then they wouldn't be able to sue over it.


Or the open source community to implement it for Windows plateforms. Someone will first have to cover the Windows FS kit cost, though.

An alternative could be to keep FAT32, but store only two files on it: a set of 4Gb "block" files hosting a guest free file system in it, and one single file, relying on auto-run feature: a free Windows tool to manage the guest file system within block files. Like the ZeroCD trick used by USB devices these days to embebded their drivers, but for file system.

Zero-FAT, or FAT-free, isn't that cool names for a technology!?

;-)

Edited 2012-09-19 08:23 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1