Windows Mobile 5.0 Upgrade for Dell Axim X50
On the PocketPC front this upgrade had been a very long awaited upgrade, several Axim/iPaq user-group sites had customers going as far as calling tech support multiple times requesting the upgrade to be free till they got an answer and others wondering/crying their Windows Mobile 2003/Second Edition handhelds were left out due to the storage space limitations.
Why has this upgrade been a huge deal for many?
1. It shifts all user installed applications and stored data to be installed/saved onto built-in memory instead of 'ram' so if your battery was low/died you won't worry about data loss. The downside to this upgrade is less storage space and the trade off is for peace of mind, some may complain 128mb Axims/iPaqs will now be on par with Palm's Tungsten T5's fine print and I agree it is(after the upgrade you'll have ~92mb free). In this major change to WindowsMobile, a device now has 64mb(actually 50mb free) of ram to run applications and built-in WM5 applications seem to be more responsive.
2. Pocket Word and Excel have been improved to a degree that most users won't have to buy a 3rd party product for file conversion to retain or see certain formatting used by regular Word and Excel. While I haven't personally used Word that much for document creation or review on the go, any improvement to provide a reasonable competive edge vs a Palm with Documents-To-Go will provide choice. I've owned a Palm m505 and migrated to Windows Mobile as Documents To Go was more of a headache than a solution.
3. Pocket Powerpoint, I can see this being useful like Adobe Reader to review lectures and other presentations on the go.
4. Pocket Internet Explorer, haven't noticed any changes so it could be all under the hood improvements.
5. Windows Mediaplayer, seems to handle streaming video smoother and audio playback rarely skips while multitasking.
Dell Axim X50(maybe X51 too) specific issues caused by the upgrade are the following:
1. White screen of death after charging or when the battery drained past 90%, reset is necessary.
2. ActiveSync always relaunching, you can manually close this using the task manger but it'll always relaunch minutes later. Aximsite had a thread of WM5 issues and someone figured out a temp solution, use the search feature of their forums for the exact thread.
3. Excessive battery drain with WM5, within a month of writting this I've noticed my X50 'mid' discharges at unusual rates and doesn't matter if it was at max(520mhz), Normal(415mhz), Power Save(208mhz) or Auto.
4. Upon turning on after 2-3 hours, the rare moment of the Axim forgetting a card is in the CF or SD slot. Also a random glitch of memory card corruption, it happened to one SD and within 2 weeks a CF card had the same happen.