The Extended File Allocation Table (ExFAT) Is Headed To Linux

Published by Lamin Kanteh on

Microsoft loves Linux

Say what you will about Microsoft, but under the guidance of Satya Nadella, the mega-corporation has been completely transformed. 

In 2006, Microsoft launched its proprietary filesystem for flash drives and SD cards called ExFAT, the Extended File Allocation Table and today, the company announced its adding support for the addition of ExFAT to the Linux Kernel.

This is only the latest in a series of open-source endeavors embarked by the software giant after it openly joined the Linux Foundation in 2016.

“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 the development of conformant, interoperable implementations.”

Microsoft has publically expressed its disdain for Linux in recent times but the company was by then under different leadership.

Now, however, the firm openly expressed its desire to embrace open-source platforms specifically Linux by offering up some of its in-house IPs like ExFAT and even adding a Linux subsystem to WIndows.

Adding ExFAT to the kernel would be a huge boost for Linux as it would immensely improve communication between a Linux-powered machine when reading an SD card or Flash Drive and mounting either won’t become a chore.

Furthermore, Microsoft is hoping ExFAT specs will become part of the Open Invention Network’s  Linux definition. If this plan goes through, the code would benefit “from the defensive patent commitments of OIN’s 3040+ members and licensees,” the company notes.

It is obvious that many within the Linux community are still wary of Microsoft’s so-called goodwill intentions and it will be interesting to see how the community embraces the Redmond-based company’s new strategy. 

As curious as it is, It would be interesting to see if Chrome OS adopts any part of the ExFAT code being added to the Kernel and whether or not we’ll see any implementation of the file system in Chrome OS anytime soon.


Categories: News

Lamin Kanteh

I live, breath, and dream technology. I've only known myself to push the boundaries on what's possible in my mental scope in relation to technology. And having been a writer for the good part of the past three years (covering varying subjects on the major mobile platforms), No place has ever felt more like home than Chrome OS. And as you may know, Chrome OS is ushering us into a future of the unknown and I'm here to help in the process of easing the way into that future via ItsChromeOS.

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