The Latest on Windows Mobile 2003 Upgrades

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Since the release of Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC in June, many have been eagerly awaiting an upgrade for their Pocket PC 2002 model. Today there is good news for those with an iPAQ h3800 series, but bad news for Axim X5 owners.

iPAQ Upgrades

Hewlett-Packard is now offering upgrades for the iPAQ h3800 series, which it says will ship in 2-3 weeks. A version of this with Bluetooth support won’t be available until October. Previously, the company said no version of the upgrade for the h3800 series would be available until October.

Its upgrades for the h3900 series are shipping now and HP says its upgrade for the h5400 series should ship in 2-3 weeks. There won’t be an upgrade for the iPAQ h1910, h1915, h1920, or any Jornada model. There also won’t be upgrades for older iPAQ h3000 series models.

Those who purchased an iPAQ h5450 or iPAQ h3900 series handheld between May 23, 2003 and September 23, 2003 can get a free upgrade. Those who purchased an iPAQ before May 23 must buy the upgrade for $30. These are available on HP’s web store.

Dell Axim X5 Upgrades

Dell’s move to Windows Mobile 2003 has been greatly complicated by the discovery that its initial implementation of the new operating system was flawed, causing handhelds that ran it to perform more slowly than ones running Pocket PC 2002.

Though Dell said last month it had found the source of this problem, 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.

For those who are new to this, releasing a new handheld operating system doesn’t work the same way as it does with desktops and laptops. The upgrade doesn’t come straight from Microsoft. Instead, Microsoft gives the new operating system to its licensees who customize it for their individual models and release it.

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