HP Upgrades iPAQ h5400 and 5500 Series with Windows Mobile 2003 and WPA

Brighthand reports that Hewlett-Packard has released a WiFi driver update for the iPAQ 5400 and 5500 series PDAs. The new driver includes support for WiFi Protected Access, LEAP authentication, and Cisco Compatible Extensions (CCX). These units also received an upgrade to Windows Mobile 2003.

One question I had about this announcement was, why roll out such a significant WiFi upgrade for older iPAQs like the 5400 and 5500? A big reason for this may be H-P customers who have standardized on these models. A good example is NASA. Two weeks ago, I reported on the features of the h5550 that made NASA choose this model for use on the International Space Station. These include a very large display, WiFi, Bluetooth, and most importantly, excellent reliability. A lot of products stay on the market past the time that they are eclipsed by smaller, more feature-filled models because they are tanks. The h5500/5555 looks like one of them.

By the way, H-P says that Windows Mobile 2003 upgrades will be available to current iPAQ owners for $29.95, unless you were offered and already submitted a free upgrade under the Technology Guarantee Program. Most iPAQ models qualify. The models that do not qualify for Windows Mobile 2003 upgrades are iPAQ Pocket PC h1910, h1915, and h1920 as well as all Jornada products.