Dell is going to mail out CDs with the patch some Axim X5 users need to fix their handhelds running Windows Mobile 2003.
Dell’s move from Pocket PC 2002 to Windows Mobile 2003 has turned out to be quite a saga. After Microsoft unveiled this new operating system in June, Dell began shipping it on all its Axim X5 handhelds. Unfortunately, when these got into users’ hands, they reported the devices ran more slowly than Axims running Pocket PC 2002. Dell quickly acknowledged that there is a problem and stopped shipping both Axim models until the company could develop a fix.
Dell had a patch ready late last month but stopped distributing it after some people were able to use it to do unauthorized free upgrades of handhelds running Pocket PC 2002. The upgrade is supposed to be available only to those who have paid $29. It said at the time it was looking for alternate methods to distribute the patch. However, the company was able to resume shipping new handhelds.
According to News.com, Dell plans to send a CD with the patch to those who purchased an Axim from its web site between June 23 and July 16. Handhelds sold before that time have Pocket PC 2002 and ones sold after already include the patched version of Windows Mobile 2003 and therefore aren’t affected by the slowdown.
Unfortunately, Dell doesn’t have a definite date for when it will begin shipping the CDs. It had hoped to start last week but has run into delays.
A Related Problem
The company is also having problems distributing Windows Mobile 2003 to those in the U.S. who want to upgrade their Axim running Pocket PC 2002. People who have the upgrade on order have begun to receive an email telling them it won’t ship until October 1. They are also being told that unless they respond to the email, their order will automatically be cancelled.
No explanation is being given for this delay. It is especially mysterious as Dell has been shipping the upgrades in Europe for several weeks and New Handhelds with Windows Mobile 2003 are available through the company’s web store.