FAT File System Off-limits for Linux, Windows PCs Still Not Worth Buying
Article by George Norman
On 03 Apr 2009
According to Executive Director of the Linux Foundation, Jim Zemlin, the industry should move away from Microsoft’s File Allocation Table (FAT) by choosing one other file system technology to implement in their products. Zemlin also says that Microsoft’s “Laptop Hunters” ad campaign, which features Lauren as she goes on the hunt for a Windows-powered laptop for under $1000, is depicting an unrealistic scenario.

The FAT file system technology, that got TomTom sued by Microsoft, is Microsoft proprietary technology, and as such, using it can get you sued as well. Jim Zemlin is advising developers to move away from Microsoft’s proprietary file management system, especially if you consider that there are several options to pick from.


“The settlement of this suit only proves two things. First, the software patent system in the US needs reform. The need for reform stems from why common functionality like this (which is neither innovative nor novel) was granted a patent in the first place. Second, it proves that, even apart from this larger issue, this case is a non-event. The technology at the heart of this settlement is the FAT file system. As acknowledged by Microsoft in the press release, this file system is easily replaced with multiple technology alternatives. The Linux Foundation is here to assist interested parties in the technical coordination of removing the FAT file system from products that make use of it today,” says Jim Zemlin.

But the move away from Microsoft technology is not the only one advocated by Jim Zemlin. According to him, Lauren, from Microsoft’s Laptop Hunters ad campaign, did not do well by purchasing a $1,000 Windows-powered laptop. The smart choice would have been to shun the Windows OS and use that money to purchase something else.

Zemlin explains: “If Lauren had been really smart she would have taken the money, purchased a Dell Mini 9 running Ubuntu for $249.00 ($8.00 shipping to California and no taxes) and then went over to Bestbuy for a 42″ flat screen TV to give her that “big screen” she wanted. Too bad when Lauren gets home she will discover she has to trudge back to Bestbuy to pick up a copy of Microsoft Office for at least $149.00 if she wants to create documents on that PC which would have broken her $1000 budget. But we already knew that the first cigarette is always free when it comes to Windows.”

The Linux Foundation will show off its own set of user created Linux ads on the 8th of April at the Linux Foundation’s Collaboration Summit.

Tags: Linux, Linux Foundation, Microsoft, Windows, FAT
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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