Microsoft on Tuesday announced that it has reached a licensing agreement with Research In Motion (RIM) whereby the latter company will be able to bring Microsoft’s Extended File Allocation Table (exFAT) file system to BlackBerry handsets and tablets. No terms were disclosed, and though any agreement between the two mobile-platform makers is interesting, this isn’t a particularly far-reaching deal.
“Today’s smartphones and tablets require the capacity to display richer images and data than traditional cellular phones,” Microsoft General Manager David Kaefer said in a statement. "This agreement with RIM highlights how a modern file system such as exFAT can help directly address the specific needs of customers in the mobile industry."
The exFAT file system is the latest derivative of Microsoft’s long-running FAT file system family, which also includes VFAT and FAT32. (Modern Windows versions use the NTFS file system instead.) It is aimed specifically at mobile devices and peripherals and allows for bigger file sizes and better performance than FAT32.
According to Microsoft, the exFAT file system is particularly well suited for audio and video content, and media, and enables “seamless data portability and an easy interchange between desktop PCs and a variety of electronic devices.”
The software giant also noted that it had now entered into more than 1,100 licensing agreements with other companies since opening its intellectual property portfolio to licensing in 2003.