As a kind gesture to the Linux community, Microsoft announces plans to add exFAT support to the Linux Kernel. Before we get into this news, it only makes sense to explain what the exFAT format really is to our non-technical readers.
Short for the Extended File Allocation Table, this Microsoft-created file format belongs to the FAT file system family and is aimed at SD cards and flash drives. With that being said, there’s a small downside to it: Linux does not support devices with this format without some additional software.
Considering this, Microsoft has now decided to help with integrating exFAT support to the Linux kernel, which could be unexpected for many. Because of this move, Linux users will be allowed to access their exFAT devices directly from their Linux kernel and without the hassle of installing anything.
However, that’s not all as Microsoft has also published the technical specifications for the exFAT file format, which you can check out from here. What this will do is allow for the creation of appropriate, cross-platform implementations.
Also, Microsoft is making efforts towards the inclusion of the exFAT specifications into the Linux definition of Open Invention Network. If the company succeeds in this mission, the members and licensees of OIN could help with improving the code.
Proving to be an ally of the Linux community, this entire procedure is expected to take place without any inconveniences and most importantly, any lawsuits being filed. Another thing worth mentioning is that this isn’t the first time Microsoft has dipped toes in the open-source world as Windows 10 also got support for Linux recently.
As Microsoft’s interest develops in the world of open-source software, the Gates-headed company has decided to do a favor to Linux users by making public the exFAT specifications. Although this move could benefit both Linux and Microsoft, it is still uncertain how the Linux community will respond to this news. Some Linux users still consider Microsoft to be against the open-source virtues.