Dell yanks Axim patch after hackers crack it

Dell Inc. posted – and then yanked – a fix on its support Web site for its Axim handheld computers loaded with the Pocket PC 2003 operating system after some users hacked the software to obtain a free copy of the operating system instead of just a patch, according to Dell spokesperson Jess Blackburn.

Dell developed the fix to correct a flaw in its version of the Microsoft Pocket PC 2003 operating system, which caused in a “significant” slowdown when the hardware ran multimedia applications.

Blackburn said Dell pulled the patch after the company determined that some users had figured out how to use it to obtain an “unauthorized version” of Pocket PC 2003.

The company is now working to develop an online version of the patch that can’t be hacked, but Blackburn couldn’t say when it would be posted. Dell also plans to have a CD version of the patch, which it can mail to users within two weeks, he said.