08.29.19

Gemini version available ♊︎

Microsoft Wants Linux to Use exFAT for the Same Reasons it Wants Everybody to Use OOXML

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft, Patents at 4:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Every line of code that is written to our standards is a small victory; every line of code that is written to any other standard, is a small defeat.”

James Plamondon, Microsoft Technical Evangelist. From Exhibit 3096; Comes v Microsoft litigation [PDF]

Summary: Contrary to what Microsoft-dominated media is trying to tell us, Linux does not need exFAT and by adopting exFAT Linux would become more closely connected to and tightly controlled by Microsoft

THE googlebombing appears to be back. This morning people search for Linux news and instead get Microsoft news; right now, for example, 10 out of 10 results for “Linux” (in Google News), i.e. 100%, are actually about Microsoft rather than Linux.

“Technically speaking, Samsung already has the substitute. Maybe this is what Microsoft is scared of? Microsoft always strives to be ‘the’ standard.”What is it all about? We wrote about it approximately a month ago. It’s hardly even news, except for the legal department. “What I read online so far makes it look like being about injecting Microsoft products and software patents into the kernel,” one reader told us this morning, having already surveyed the news. “That increases the likelihood of other patent vectors like Mono being used against FOSS. If Microsoft were serious about supporting FOSS, it would do just that: add support for EXT4 and OpenZFS and promote both over exFAT and NTFS.”

LWN’s kernel expert (whom we respect) said: “Linux support for the exFAT filesystem has had a long and troubled history; Microsoft has long asserted patents in this area that have prevented that code from being merged into the kernel. Microsoft has just changed its tune, announcing that upstreaming exFAT is now OK…”

“It’s quite revealing when one considers who hyped up the whole thing, in effect causing a “googlebomb”.”So what? Linux already has replacements for it that are equally good. Technically speaking, Samsung already has the substitute. Maybe this is what Microsoft is scared of? Microsoft always strives to be ‘the’ standard.

Now let’s look at what the media said. It’s quite revealing when one considers who hyped up the whole thing, in effect causing a “googlebomb”.

Well, the report we initially saw came from SJVN (maybe he got a pointer or inside ‘scoop’, maybe predating this Microsoft post from Microsoft’s mole in the Linux Foundation’s Board). Microsoft is just trying to leverage OIN and its fake software patents (they would not survive a court’s scrutiny or even the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB) scrutiny after 35 U.S.C. § 101) to make itself the ‘standard’ in Linux file systems. Seeing that Windows is losing its old dominance, Microsoft looks for new things to ‘infect’ with its so-called ‘IP’ (that it totally controls). To quote SJVN, who has been Microsoft-friendly in recent years:

For years, Microsoft used its patents as a way to profit from open-source products. The poster-child for Microsoft’s intellectual property aggression were the File Allocation Table (FAT) patents. But the Microsoft of then is not the Microsoft of now. First, Microsoft open-sourced its entire patent portfolio and now Microsoft is explicitly making its last remaining FAT intellectual property, the exFAT patents, available to Linux and open source via the Open Invention Network (OIN).

Microsoft announced that it now loves Linux and “we say that a lot, and we mean it! Today we’re pleased to announce that Microsoft is supporting the addition of Microsoft’s exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table) technology to the Linux kernel.”

Will the ongoing lawsuits be dropped?

And what about Foxconn? Microsoft sued Foxconn this year, using its notorious patents; and payments were demanded for Linux-based products.

“Will the ongoing lawsuits be dropped?”Will all the blackmail money be refunded (for these exFAT patents)?

No.

So does Microsoft really change its spots? Maybe it realises that these patents are too weak because of 35 U.S.C. § 101?

SJVN’s article is more of a puff piece; it does not mention any of the above questions. We worry that some people who used to advocate GNU/Linux are nowadays advocating “club Linux Foundation” instead, i.e. proprietary software giants that are Linux Foundation sponsors and often reject Linux, they just exploit the name/brand. That’s where the money is. The sellouts and defectors profit from betrayal.

Soon afterwards Phoronix caught up with the action because it’s typically very fast and it had also caught the prelude to this (in the kernel’s mailing lists). Michael Larabel’s position:

With Microsoft now publicly documenting the exFAT specification and giving its blessing for Linux, it’s possible that out-of-tree exFAT driver could soon be merged into the mainline Linux kernel.

Larabel’s post has a neutral tone; Larabel often covers the replacements for exFAT and the issues associated with exFAT.

“…Larabel often covers the replacements for exFAT and the issues associated with exFAT.”But Microsoft boosters aggressively promote exFAT right now (today and yesterday). Microsoft’s message to Linux? Stop making your own file systems for portable devices. Just use Microsoft’s. Ask politely for our permission, as we have patents and we call all the shots.

We were hardly surprised to see Microsoft's longtime booster Tim Anderson bombarding the media [1, 2] (with changes) and Microsoft propaganda sites (dedicated ones) doing the same, e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4]. Linux Foundation staff promoted this, as expected, even several times [1, 2]. There has never been anything (in recent years) that Microsoft did and the Linux Foundation did not like. Not a single word about what happened in Munich or the bribes. Microsoft pays for Zemlin’s PR services. Why put this client ‘at risk’?

“What next? Will Microsoft also offer its own scheduler and network stack? So that it can better control the whole development and direction of Linux?”There was also non-Microsoft media ‘on the case’, albeit mostly Microsoft apologists (with history) like this one or that one. We don’t want to mention names; readers can click and see who we speak of. Their track record is well documented. Joey Sneddon said: “Microsoft has announced that it’s bringing exFAT support to the Linux kernel, with code contributed licensed under GPLv2. This is huge, unexpected, yet very welcome #opensource news.”

Open Source? Maybe. Free software? No, not quite. GPLv3, for instance, has something to say about patents.

What next? Will Microsoft also offer its own scheduler and network stack? So that it can better control the whole development and direction of Linux? What if Microsoft tried? Would resistance still be possible?

The most ridiculous article we’ve stumbled upon was Microsoft’s “Philanthropic” Services Continue exFAT File System To Make Its Way On Linux Kernel (no kidding! Philanthropic!).

“As if Microsoft now ‘bosses’ Linux developers through the media (which publicly shames them if they stand in the way).”Microsoft blackmails Linux with patents, Appuals calls that “Microsoft’s “Philanthropic” Services”! Wow! That’s almost as bad as calling Bill Gates’ tax-evading scam a “charity”.

Remaining coverage [1, 2] was more moderate but failed to ask any of the Big Questions. The latter of these is about Paragon Software, which just like Tuxera helped Microsoft tax Linux (through exFAT licences).

Blackmail? Extortion? Forget about it! It’s the ‘new’ Microsoft! Now that it’s becoming irrelevant and it’s trying to impose patent traps on Linux we’re supposed to welcome it with open arms? Microsoft Emil, a predecessor of Microsoft Peter at Ars Technica, has just thrown in the “Microsoft loves Linux” lie in image form. Our media survey, which took nearly a day, showed one important facts; those who promote it are almost always Microsoft boosters with record. They don’t care about Linux and most of them actively and openly hate Linux. They spent years attacking and badmouthing GNU/Linux. One of our readers called all of these articles, collectively, “Microsoft spam” and we agree. It’s putting pressure on Linux developers to just do what Microsoft tells them. As if Microsoft now ‘bosses’ Linux developers through the media (which publicly shames them if they stand in the way).

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Gemini Gone Mainstream: German Media Now in Geminispace

    With the likes of TAZ embracing Geminispace/Gemini Protocol we seem to have reached some sort of inflection point; taz.de did in fact add official presence to Geminispace



  2. Links 28/1/2022: LSFMM 2022 and 2021 UI Study Results From Elementary's Distro

    Links for the day



  3. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 27, 2022

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 27, 2022



  4. Links 28/1/2022: GNU Poke 2.0 and OPNsense 22.1 Released

    Links for the day



  5. Links 27/1/2022: Archinstall 2.3.1 and Nix 2.6.0

    Links for the day



  6. On the Internet, Trust Should Not Become Centralised

    “Trust” is a word that lost its meaning in the era of “TPM” and fancier names for 'Palladium'; we need to reject this idea that computers need to check with Microsoft if the operating system is trusted (not just Windows!), check with Gulag/Chrome if a Web site is trusted, and whether it's OK to run some application/s on one's own computer (as if Jim Zemlin et al get to decide what is trusted)



  7. Microsoft-Connected Publishers Suffer and Perish With Microsoft (While Peddling 'Fake News' for Their Beloved Sponsor)

    IDG and other fake news outlets/networks/sites (selling to companies flattering articles about themselves or renting out 'news space' to them, not just ad space) want us to think Microsoft is doing very well, but it's just that same old Ponzi scheme



  8. Links 27/1/2022: Mabox Linux 21.11 Herbolth and PipeWire 0.3.44

    Links for the day



  9. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 26, 2022

    IRC logs for Wednesday, January 26, 2022



  10. [Meme] EPO: Pursuing an Eastern and Western District of Europe (for Patent Trolls and Software Patents)

    With the EPO so flagrantly lying and paying for misinformation maybe we should expect Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos to have delusions of grandeur… such as presiding over the Eastern and Western District of Europe, just like Mr. Gilstrap and Mr. Albright (political appointment by Donald Trump, ushering in “the swamp”)



  11. Gemini at 2,000: 86% of Capsules Use Self-Signed Certificate, Just Like the Techrights Web Site (WWW)

    As shown in the charts above (updated an hour ago), the relative share of ‘Linux’ Foundation (LE/LF; same thing, same office) in the capsules’ certificates has decreased over time; more and more (in terms of proportion) capsules choose to sign their own certificate/s; the concept of ‘fake security’ (centralisation and consolidation) should be rejected universally because it leaves nobody safe except plutocrats



  12. [Meme] UPC: Many Lies as Headlines, Almost Exclusively in Publishers Sponsored by EPO and Team UPC to Produce Fake News (Lobbying Through Misinformation)

    Lest we forget that EPO dictators, like Pinky and the Brainless Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos, have long littered the EPO's official Web site as well as publishers not directly connected to the EPO (but funded by it) with disinformation about the UPC



  13. EPO as the 'Ministry of Truth' of Team UPC and Special Interests

    The 'Ministry of Truth' of the patent world is turning the EPO's Web site into a propaganda mill, a misinformation farm, and a laughing stock with stock photography



  14. Microsoft 'Delighted' by Windows 11 (Vista 11) Usage, Which is Only 1% Three Months After Official Launch and Six Months After Release Online

    Microsoft boosters such as Bogdan Popa and Mark Hachman work overtime on distraction from the failure Vista 11 has been (the share of Windows continues to fall relative to other platforms)



  15. Links 27/1/2022: Preinstalled GNU/Linux (Ubuntu) and Arch Linux-Powered Steam Deck 30 Days Away

    Links for the day



  16. Don't Fall for Microsoft's Spin That Says Everything is Not Secure and Cannot be Secured

    Microsoft keeps promoting the utterly false concept that everything is not secure and there's nothing that can be done about it (hence, might as well stay with Windows, whose insecurity is even intentional)



  17. At Long Last: 2,000 Known Gemini Capsules!

    The corporate media, looking to appease its major sponsors (such as Web/advertising giants), won't tell you that Gemini Protocol is rising very rapidly; its userbase and the tools available for users are rapidly improving while more and more groups, institutions and individuals set up their own capsule (equivalent of a Web site)



  18. Links 26/1/2022: Gamebuntu 1.0, PiGear Nano, and Much More

    Links for the day



  19. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 25, 2022

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 25, 2022



  20. Links 26/1/2022: No ARM for Nvidia, End of EasyArch, and WordPress 5.9 is Out

    Links for the day



  21. Why the Unified Patent Court (UPC) is Still Just a Fantasy and the UPC's Fake News Mill Merely Discredits the Whole Patent 'Profession'

    Patents and science used to be connected; but now that the patent litigation 'sector' is hijacking patent offices (and even courts in places like Texas) it's trying to shove a Unified Patent Court (UPC) down the EU's throat under the disingenuous cover of "community" or "unity"



  22. Links 25/1/2022: Vulkan 1.3 Released, Kiwi TCMS 11.0, and antiX 19.5

    Links for the day



  23. Gemini Milestones and Growth (Almost 2,000 Known Gemini Servers Now, 39,000 Pages in Ours)

    The diaspora to Gemini Protocol or the transition to alternative 'webs' is underway; a linearly growing curve suggests that inertia/momentum is still there and we reap the benefits of early adoption of Gemini



  24. [Meme] Get Ready for Unified Patent Court (UPC) to be Taken to Court

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unitary Patent system that’s crafted to empower EPO thugs isn’t legal and isn’t constitutional either; even a thousand fake news 'articles' (deliberate misinformation or disinformation) cannot change the simple facts because CJEU isn’t “trial by media”



  25. The EPO Needs High-Calibre Examiners, Not Politicians Who Pretend to Understand Patents and Science

    Examiners are meant to obstruct fake patents or reject meritless patent applications; why is it that working conditions deteriorate for those who are intellectually equipped to do the job?



  26. Free Software is Greener

    Software Freedom is the only way to properly tackle environmental perils through reuse and recycling; the mainstream media never talks about it because it wants people to "consume" more and more products



  27. Links 25/1/2022: Git 2.35 and New openSUSE Hardware

    Links for the day



  28. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 24, 2022

    IRC logs for Monday, January 24, 2022



  29. Links 25/1/2022: GPL Settlement With Patrick McHardy, Godot 4.0 Alpha 1, and DXVK 1.9.4 Released

    Links for the day



  30. Proprietary Software is Pollution

    "My daughter asked me about why are we throwing away some bits of technology," Dr. Andy Farnell says. "This is my attempt to put into words for "ordinary" people what I tried to explain to a 6 year old."


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts