Hackers Delay Release of Fix for Dell Axim

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Shortly after Dell began to offer handhelds with Windows Mobile 2003, users discovered that this latest version of the operating system for Pocket PCs caused the devices to slow down. Earlier this week, Dell said it would release a patch for this issue. However, unscrupulous people have thrown a monkey wrench into this plan.

After Microsoft unveiled Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC last month, Dell began shipping the new operating system 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. It announced on Monday it would post on its site today a ROM update that would clear up this issue.

According to PC World.com, the release was delayed because it took longer than expected for Dell’s web designers to create the necessary pages on its support site. Nevertheless, some people were able to find the file on the company’s FTP server and download it early.

This patch was intended only for devices that already had Windows Mobile 2003 installed. However, 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.

In response, Dell has pulled the patch off its support site. It is currently looking for ways to provide the ROM update only to those who already have the new operating system, not those looking for a free upgrade. It is intending to offer it on CD in a few weeks.

Dell will also soon begin shipping CDs with the new operating system to those who have paid for the upgrade from Pocket PC 2002; these shipments should begin within a few weeks The company resumed shipping new Axim X5 models last week.

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