Microsoft signs up five companies to new exFAT license deals

When you buy your next tablet, digital camera or another device that might have a flash-based memory storage system, you might be using one that has a little bit of Microsoft inside. Today, the company announced it signed up five new companies that will be using Microsoft's Extended File Allocation Table (exFAT) for many of their electronic products.

Microsoft said in its press release, "The agreements cover Sharp Android tablets, Sigma and NextoDi high-end cameras and accessories, and Black Magic and Atomos Global broadcast-quality video-recording devices." The specific financial terms of the license deals were not disclosed.

exFAT is Microsoft's successor to the FAT hard drive storage system, except that exFAT has been created with flash-based memory in mind. Microsoft says that exFAT " ... expands the size of files that flash memory devices can handle by more than five times. It also greatly increases the speed with which those files can be accessed."

Microsoft claims that the use of exFAT in storage products could expand the amount of storage for one drive to as much as 256 TB. It has made similar product license deals for exFAT in the past with Sony, Panasonic and Canon.

Source: Microsoft press release | Image via Microsoft

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23 Comments

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Hello,

This is good news. exFAT is the default file system on SDXC cards, so the manufacturers adding support for it should have their devices work seamlessly with cards used in other systems.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky

exFAT wiki - " It is supported in Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 with update KB955704,[2] Windows Embedded CE 6.0, Windows Vista with Service Pack 1,[4] Windows Server 2008,[5] Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 (except Windows Server 2008 Server Core), Mac OS X Snow Leopard starting from 10.6.5[6], Mac OS X Lion and OS X Mountain Lion."

It's really too bad they don't open up exFAT, it's pretty sad that a lot of devices today are still relying on FAT

Rudy said,
It's really too bad they don't open up exFAT, it's pretty sad that a lot of devices today are still relying on FAT

Actually they have another chance to create a new one...
which they never used...

Why should MS always be the one who create such technology?
Why didn't other big companies try to create something like it, and make it FREE?

Just think...

Rudy said,
It's really too bad they don't open up exFAT, it's pretty sad that a lot of devices today are still relying on FAT

They have not closed up exFAT. This is why other companies can license this.

Rudy said,
It's really too bad they don't open up exFAT, it's pretty sad that a lot of devices today are still relying on FAT

Make a project called "Open exFAT", release it for free, and call it a day?

Crimson Rain said,

They have not closed up exFAT. This is why other companies can license this.

I think he means make it open source GPL so anyone can use it not paying for the privilege

Athlonite said,

I think he means make it open source GPL so anyone can use it not paying for the privilege


Why should they do that? What next? Everything MS develops should be GPL'd?

Crimson Rain said,

Why should they do that? What next? Everything MS develops should be GPL'd?

Taking it to extremes much?

Microsoft creating a standard for something like this means that a lot of people have to interoperate with it.
Requiring licensing for it just makes the barrier to entry higher, and leaves it in a similar position to NTFS (having to reverse engineer it, as was done for Linux).

Esvandiary said,
Microsoft creating a standard for something like this means that a lot of people have to interoperate with it.

Live inside MS world, OR, live outside MS world.

You can choose to live in both worlds, though I'm pretty sure it won't be that easy...

Good. I only hope this becomes a standard FAST, because video files are huge and the workarounds companies have to deal with breaking files to smaller than 4GB is ridiculous and annoying.

Luis Mazza said,
Good. I only hope this becomes a standard FAST, because video files are huge and the workarounds companies have to deal with breaking files to smaller than 4GB is ridiculous and annoying.

If you're not bound to Windows it might be a better idea to just use ext3 or ext4...

Ambroos said,

If you're not bound to Windows it might be a better idea to just use ext3 or ext4...

I actually use a Mac. But if some big companies start supporting this as a standard, I think that driver support will come naturally to other OSes.

Luis Mazza said,
I actually use a Mac. But if some big companies start supporting this as a standard, I think that driver support will come naturally to other OSes.

You bet... But, we'll see...

WinRT said,

can you make one better?

There are already dozens of openly documented file systems (EXT, ReiserFS, Btrfs, etc), but unfortunately driver support on Windows and OSX for other file systems is pretty limited.

Majesticmerc said,
There are already dozens of openly documented file systems (EXT, ReiserFS, Btrfs, etc), but unfortunately driver support on Windows and OSX for other file systems is pretty limited.

That's, my friend, is called the cost of supports...

And people shouldn't think supports cost is FREE...

As if one employs an employee to make a quality driver WITHOUT him being paid...
Surely, that sucks...

Xilo said,
Personally tired of proprietary file systems.

That's trully "the art of complain"...

Complaining without providing alternative solutions that would work in the real world...

Excellent! [/sarcasm]

mahara said,

That's, my friend, is called the cost of supports...

And people shouldn't think supports cost is FREE...

As if one employs an employee to make a quality driver WITHOUT him being paid...
Surely, that sucks...

I didn't suggest that someone shouldn't get paid for writing the implementation for Windows. I was simply stating that Microsoft don't implement many (any?) open file systems, which means that it's unsuitable for companies that expect compatibility with Windows, which is most likely critical.

Majesticmerc said,

I didn't suggest that someone shouldn't get paid for writing the implementation for Windows. I was simply stating that Microsoft don't implement many (any?) open file systems, which means that it's unsuitable for companies that expect compatibility with Windows, which is most likely critical.


Why should MS spend time to implement other (in most cases, inferior too) file systems when they already have excellent file systems?

Crimson Rain said,

Why should MS spend time to implement other (in most cases, inferior too) file systems when they already have excellent file systems?

Possibly because it'd be good for their customers, whether it's HFS+ for better support for Mac-formatted disks or Ext2/3/4 (as the most likely candidates) for Linux.
I don't think anyone is suggesting that Microsoft should support installing Windows to other filesystems (heck, they don't support installing to FAT32 any more, and for good reasons); merely read/write support for disks using those filesystems.

Also, whilst the latest NTFS versions are pretty good, I don't think we can really say that "most" other modern filesystems are inferior to it...