Microsoft has entered into an intellectual property (IP) licensing agreement with Sharp to use the latest Extended File Allocation Table (exFAT), a modern file system that facilitates large files for audiovisual media and enables seamless data portability for an easy interchange of files between desktop PCs and other electronic devices.

The agreement between Microsoft and Sharp covers the use of exFAT in smartphones distributed by Sharp, based on the Android platform. The exFAT file system improves on its predecessor, the FAT file system, and greatly expands the size of files that flash memory devices can handle - by more than five times over the previous technology. In addition, exFAT also increases the speed with which those files can be accessed.

The latest agreement will allow Sharp to incorporate the new file system in its product portfolio and deliver faster response times and greater storage capabilities to consumers, said Microsoft in a statement.

"Consumers today move from mobile phones, to PCs, to home entertainment systems throughout their day - and they expect their media to move as seamlessly across those devices as they do," said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel, Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft.

The Redmond company offers flexible IP licensing programs that give companies access to many of the foundational technologies in its own products, allowing them to build devices, applications and services that work seamlessly with one another.

Microsoft launched its IP licensing program in December 2003. Since then, the company has entered into more than 1,100 licensing agreements and continues to develop programs that make it possible for customers, partners and competitors to access its IP portfolio.

Till now, Microsoft has entered into similar exFAT patent licensing agreements with several leading consumer electronics manufacturers through its IP licensing program, including Panasonic, SANYO Electric Company Ltd., Sony and Canon.