Microsoft, having recently changed their tune, now loudly proclaim their "Love for Linux". So it’s no great surprise that Microsoft is aggre$$ively lobbying to get its exFAT technology added to the Linux kernel. exFAT is the successor to Microsoft's FAT and FAT32 file systems. It's used on many SD cards, USB sticks and various devices.
Microsoft says it’s important that the world wide Linux community make use of exFAT by including it in the Linux kernel. To forward this goal they’re making the technical specifications for exFAT publicly available “to facilitate development of conformant, interoperable implementations”.
Remember that this is the same Microsoft that used its exFAT patents to beat Linux based companies and developers over the head these past two decades. exFat technology was central to Microsoft’s effort to extract millions of dollars in patent licensing fees from companies using Linux instead of Windows.
This strong arm approach on the part of Microsoft coming to an end is quite a sight. But anyone with half a brain has to wonder, was any of it necessary in the first place, and was it worth it?
Most observers say it wasn’t, that in fact it’s been an overall failure.
Linux in its wide variety of forms, in spite of Microsoft’s dirty tricks these past 20 years, is now far and away the worlds most popular operating system. Linux in one form or another comes preinstalled on more devices and in a greater variety of hardware than any other operating system available today, by a staggering margin.
No amount of Microsoft’s strong arm tactics or patent trolls were ever going to stop the relentless advance of Linux and open-source. So it’s little wonder that Microsoft has changed its tune and now loudly proclaims its supposed new found “Love for Linux”. The company had no other option.
How this new look Microsoft will deal with the Linux community they now say they "Love" in years to come is anyone's guess. Putting a new paint job on a predatory animal doesn’t change what’s underneath.
The world wide Linux community is only right to approach this ‘new version' of Microsoft with a great deal of caution. But in the face of Microsoft's billion$, how long the community will stand its ground remains to be seen.
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