Microsoft and Aspen Avionics Ink exFAT Licensing Agreement

This morning, we announced a licensing agreement with Aspen Avionics, a manufacturer of general aviation cockpit display systems. What’s noteworthy about the announcement is that it is the first agreement forged by Microsoft in the avionics industry, and is also the first agreement we have announced in the commercial sector, thus demonstrating that exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table) is great for commercial and consumer applications alike.

This agreement also exemplifies the role of intellectual property as the currency of innovation that contributes ideas, improves industry standards, helps companies grow and vastly improves customer experiences. For licensees like Aspen, it provides the ability to legally use another company’s IP; exFAT is but one of several technologies that Microsoft licenses out to a variety of customers, and device manufacturers in a variety of industries – in order to help them grow their business.

Microsoft first made exFAT available for licensing more than two years ago as a replacement for FAT (File Allocation Table), which, despite its simplicity, did not support the larger multi-media files that have since become necessary in a variety of industries. In fact, rather than spending time and resources developing their own file systems, companies such as Casio, Leica, Fujifilm, e.Solutions (Volkswagen’s primary infotainment software provider)—and now Aspen, have taken advantage of the work that we’ve already done.

So how is exFAT being used? Let’s say you are on a backpacking trip through Chile and you won’t be back to your desktop for three weeks. Documenting your trip on your digital camera would require the ability to store a large amount of information. ExFAT has been widely adopted across the industry, allowing professional, as well as amateur photographers, to store up to 256 terabytes of data and enabling the free flow of media between consumer and professional grade devices. It just makes life much easier.

This is just one example of how technological experiences are driven or supported by exFAT technology – something that Microsoft developed to help device manufacturers like Aspen Avionics, designers, photographers and others think bigger about what’s possible when it comes to portable data.

For more information on Microsoft’s IP licensing program visit http://www.microsoft.com/iplicensing.

Information specifically related to Microsoft’s exFAT licensing program can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/about/legal/en/us/intellectualproperty/iplicensing/programs/exfatfilesystem.aspx.

About the Author

Director, Corp. IP Licensing, Microsoft