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Dell halts PPC 2003 Axim PDA shipments

Waiting for firmware fix

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High performance access to file storage

Dell has halted shipments of its Axim x5 PDA until it can fix a problem that has knocked Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC performance for six.

As we reported on Monday, the glitch manifests itself as extended read/write times between applications and the hardware. The result is that with Windows Mobile 2003, the latest version of the Pocket PC operating system, the Axim show significantly poorer file access and multimedia playback than under Pocket PC 2002.

Pocket PCs of comparable specification to the Axim but from other vendors showed no such performance dip.

Dell finally acknowledged the problem yesterday. At fault is a bug in the Axim's firmware, not Windows Media 2003, a spokesman told ExtremeTech. So claims that Dell was waiting for Microsoft to issue a patch would appear to be unfounded.

"We've got a root cause and we're working on a fix now," the spokesman said. "This is the kind of thing that will likely be a software download type of [fix]."

The spokesman added that Axim shipments will be halted until a fix is available. Dell will continue to take orders for the products, however. ®

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