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Dell promises Axim PDA fix, fails to post it

PocketPC 2003 update CDs delayed until September

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High performance access to file storage

Dell has delayed releasing a patch that allows its Axim x5 PDA to operate correctly with Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC.

The patch was to have been released this past Saturday, according to a PDA Buzz posting. We were unable to track it down on Dell's US web site, and PDA Buzz has since updated its story, which covered a conference call held with Dell this past Friday, to reflect the fact that the patch hasn't been made available as promised.

During that discussion, Dell staffers said the firmware problem which was behind the Windows Mobile 2003 issue had been isolated and a fix would be released the following day, 26 July. Shipments of Windows Mobile 2003-based Axims and system software update CDs would commence soon after, they said.

However, Dell is now saying that the update CDs will not ship until September. There's no word on when Axim shipments will now resume, or when the patch will be posted on Dell's web site. The PC manufacturer put Axim shipments on hold two weeks ago after finally acknowledging performance problems with handhelds that bundled the new Windows Mobile operating system. It continues to take new orders for the product, however.

When Dell suspended Axim shipments, it said the performance issue was the result of a glitch in the PDA's firmware. The problem, as we first reported some days ahead of Dell's statement, centres on file and data access, which is rather slower under the new OS than the old one, PocketPC 2002. This manifests as directories listing slowly, files opening slowly and choppy Media Player playback on the Axim. Pocket PC devices from other vendors show big performance gains when running the new OS.

This is the kind of thing that will likely be a software download type of [fix]," said a Dell spokesman at the time. ®

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