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Sep 19, 2012

RIM and Microsoft Sign Deal on exFAT Ahead of BlackBerry 10 Launch




Microsoft and Research in Motion have signed a patent licensing agreement that allows RIM to use the Extended File Allocation Table (exFAT) for certain BlackBerry devices.

The exFAT system is an extended version of the popular FAT technology, but as compared to its predecessor, it allows the use of files larger than 4GB. This means that RIM devices will be soon capable of handling very large media files, including HD content created by its handhelds. RIM isn't the first company to sign a licensing deal for the exFAT system, as Microsoft has already partnered with Sony, Sharp, SanDisk and Canon. Of course, RIM hasn't provided too many details on the way it plans to take advantage of exFAT's capabilities, but given the fact that BlackBerry 10 will be released in the near future, this could be a great addition to the new operating system. “Today’s smartphones and tablets require the capacity to display richer images and data than traditional cellular phones,” said David Kaefer, general manager of Intellectual Property (IP) Licensing at Microsoft. “This agreement with RIM highlights how a modern file system, such as exFAT can help directly address the specific needs of customers in the mobile industry,” he added.

Microsoft hasn't commented on the price RIM has to pay for the exFAT technology, but voices familiar with the previous licensing deals revealed that the Redmond-based firm usually receives $300,000 / €230,000 from companies that want to use this file system on their consumer products. The first devices running BlackBerry 10 are expected to hit the market in the first quarter of 2013 and they will hold a key role in the company's strategy to regain its lost market share.

RIM building
Image credits to globalnews.ca

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