Microsoft has begun phasing out the FAT (File Allocation Table) filesystem. First launched in 1977 as an eight-bit storage format for Microsoft's BASIC language, the file system is still quite popular on removable devices where FAT's 4GB file size limit doesn't matter. Microsoft signed agreements with five hardware vendors to license exFAT for use in peripheral devices, this file system was developed for Windows Embedded CE 6.0 in 2006 and fixes many of FAT's issues like support for files larger than 4GB, enhanced storage efficiency, and lower seek times in very large directories. The only downside however is that open-source operating systems like Linux are left out in the cold.
So far, exFAT's closed-source and proprietary nature, and its use of software patents to prevent third-party support being added without a licence, has limited its appeal. That appears to be changing, however, with Microsoft announcing deals with Sharp, Sigma, NextoDi, Black Magic and Atmos Global to add exFAT support to future products. Sharp will be adding the format to its future Android tablets, Sigma and NextoDi to its professional cameras and image storage products, and Black Magic and Atmos Global to their video recording systems.
These peripherals will be limited to use with selected operating systems thanks to a lack of exFAT support in third party products. Should they prove successful with consumers, the days of cross-platform devices could be drawing to a close and while Apple has licensed the format for OS X, open-source operating systems like Linux are likely to be left out in the cold.
Microsoft to retire Windows Live Messenger in favor of Skype - 11/06/2012 09:50 AM
Microsoft is working towards retiring its Windows Live Messenger client in favor of Skype. The Verge has learned through several sources that Microsoft's Windows Live Messenger service will be retired in the coming months and integrated into Skype. Microsoft has slowly been moving people over to the Messenger backend for Skype over the past few months, with around 80 percent of all IMs sent on Skype being handled by Messenger.
Microsoft launches Windows 8 - 10/26/2012 08:46 AM
Microsoft announced the global availability of its popular Windows operating system, Windows 8. Beginning Friday, Oct. 26, consumers and businesses worldwide will be able to experience all that Windows 8 has to offer, including a beautiful new user interface and a wide range of applications with the grand opening of the Windows Store. As a result of close work with hardware partners, more than 1,000 certified PCs and tablets, including Microsoft Surface, will be available for the launch of Windows 8 — making it the best lineup of PCs ever across the Windows 8 and Windows RT ecosystem.
Microsoft Surface RT Prices start at $499 - 10/17/2012 08:27 AM
Microsoft Surface RT Prices start at $499. he price of these ARM-based devices seems to target Apple's iPad, pricing starts at $499 for the entry-level model with 32GB flash memory.
Microsoft to Issue Seven Patches Next Week - 10/05/2012 08:40 AM
This coming Tuesday Microsoft will release a total of seven software updates (one rated 'Critical' and six rated 'Important') to address bugs that could lead to Remote Code Execution, Denial of Se...