Is Linux ready to go to FAT camp?
The talking drums keep rumbling throughout the Linux jungle as the tuxified ones ponder the impact of Dutch personal navigation device (PND) vendor TomTom agreeing to terms after being sued by Microsoft. The patent lawsuit appears to represent the first time Microsoft directly targeted open-source Linux components in a lawsuit. The company listed eight patent violations found in TomTom's Linux-based PNDs, three involving the device's use of the FAT filesystem.
The degree of difficulty in replacing FAT, especially in existing systems, is open to question. Certainly, however, embedded vendors would welcome assistance in avoiding being the next fatted calf to be singled out from the Linux herd. Microsoft is not likely to take on a large company with the resources to fight it in court over the issue, but it is likely to go after smaller companies.
The Linux community may instead choose to go on the offensive, suggests a ZDNet blog by Paula Rooney.