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Startup offers FAT32 for Android, Linux

January 06, 2011 // Peter Clarke

Tuxera Inc., a provider of computer files systems that are compatible with the Windows operating system, has announced a GPL-compliant FAT32 replacement package for Android- and Linux-based systems.

FAT32 is a file allocation table system developed by Microsoft for use with disk drives. GPL is the general public license promoted by open-source advocates. The package from Tuxera (Helsinki, Finland) includes FAT, FAT32, exFAT and NTFS drivers that work with all Android and Linux kernel versions.

"Companies who have licensed FAT patents from Microsoft cannot use the publicly available GPL-licensed VFAT implementation," noted Mikko Valimaki, CEO of Tuxera, in a statement. "If you don't license Microsoft patents, you risk a patent lawsuit. If you license the patents, you need to also replace the GPL software in Linux, or you risk a copyright lawsuit."

Tuxera, founded in 2008, works with operating system vendors to take care of IP issues and legal compliance and Tuxera was the first file system vendor to license exFAT patents and source code from Microsoft in 2009.

"The complete FAT32 replacement solution is to include not only proprietary FAT and FAT32 drivers but also exFAT and NTFS drivers. Both exFAT and NTFS lift the 4-Gbyte file size limit, which seriously compromises the use of FAT32 in HD video applications," said Szabolcs Szakacsits, Tuxera president and CTO. "exFAT is required for the next-generation SDXC memory card support. NTFS is needed for universal PC compatibility because NTFS has been the default Windows file system from the mid-1990s to Windows 7 and beyond."

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