Microsoft & RIM Sign Patent Licensing Deal for...File System Tech

Hold on to your hats, because we have a doozy to report: Microsoft announced on Tuesday that it has signed a patent licensing deal with Research In Motion that could shake up the mobile market...wait, this is a file system technology deal.

Feel free to go back to your nap.

For those interested enough to keep reading, the two companies entered into a deal on Tuesday that allows RIM access to various patented bits relating to the latest and greatest version of Microsoft's Extended File Allocation Table (exFAT).

This is underlying file system stuff that Microsoft claims, " facilitates large files for audiovisual media and enables seamless data portability and an easy interchange between desktop PCs and other electronic devices."

OMG, we're falling asleep writing about it. It's hard to imagine how you can prop your eyes open just reading about it.

“Today’s smartphones and tablets require the capacity to display richer images and data than traditional cellular phones,” David Kaefer, general manager of IP Licensing at Microsoft, before falling asleep himself.

He added, “This agreement with RIM highlights Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...”

Why are we being so harsh? Because RIM is hurting and the company's once-dominant BlackBerry platform is in trouble. Many people saw the news of a patent deal hit hoping it might represent a new chance for RIM to do something good. Approximately five minutes later, reality set in.

Let's look at the day's trading chart for shares of RIMM for an illustration of this effect:

RIMM Chart

RIMM Chart for September 18th, 2012
Source: Yahoo! Finance

To be sure, RIMM still posted a gain for the day, ending the session at $7.415, up $0.165 (+2.28 percent), on very heavy volume of 35.7 million shares trading hands.

But come on, RIM! You guys mainstreamed the idea of a smartphone. Remember? CrackBerry? That's turned into WhatBerry, or maybe, OhYeahIRememberThemBerry.

RIM needs to smack one out of the park, and while file systems are important to any operating system, making a big deal about licensing exFAT is really worrisome to those of us who would like to see Apple and Google get some competition. Same goes for you, Microsoft.