A FAT Licensing Uproar?

Analysis Microsoft's recent decision to pursue a royalty-bearing licensing strategy, which includes its internally developed FAT Allocation Table (FAT) file system (define), is stirring up new theories in the technology world. Where many industry watchers applauded the move by the world's largest software company to open up its intellectual property, others saw it as a move to put a stumbling block in the way of Linux, the open source operating system whose growth threatens the dominance of Windows.

Readers at popular online forum Slashdot.org weighed in with the claim that the licensing policy was the beginning of Microsoft's efforts to shut down Linux. The newly-launched Public Patent Foundation is urging the United States U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to re-examine what it claims are "wrongly issued" patents, primarily in response to Microsoft's new IP policy. Like many operating systems (define), Linux uses the FAT file system technology to keep track of and transfer data from one location to another, whether it's from one computer to another or from a flash memory card in a digital camera to the PC. It's beneficial to users because it allows them to plug in a device without having to reformat it every time they switch to another OS or device.

News source: Internet News

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