Jelena Mamčenko Operating Systems Lecture Notes on Operating Systems 54 Future Microsoft has recently secured patents for VFAT and FAT32 (but not the original FAT), which is causing concern that the company might later seek royalties from Linux distros and from media vendors that pre-format their products (see FAT Licensing below). Despite two earlier rulings against them, Microsoft prevailed and was awarded the patents. Since Microsoft has announced the discontinuation of its MS-DOS-based consumer operating systems with Windows Me, it remains unlikely that any new versions of FAT will appear. For most purposes, the NTFS file system that was developed for the Windows NT line is superior to FAT from the points of view of efficiency, performance and reliability; its main drawbacks are the size overhead for small volumes and the very limited support by anything other than the NT-based versions of Windows, since the exact specification is a trade secret of Microsoft, which in turn makes it difficult to use a DOS floppy for recovery purposes. Microsoft provided a recovery
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