Dell's Zing hopes to rival Apple in ecosystem, launch two players early next year

With Zing on board, Dell's going after Apple's portable media dominance once again, but it seems our worst nightmares of a DJ Ditty 2 could be unfounded. Instead of building just another PlaysForSure-friendly or even WiFi-happy DAP, Dell's hoping to partner up with Apple's rivals to build a new ecosystem that will create better interoperation between PMPs, phones, cars, satellite radios and the multitude of online music stores out there. From the looks of things, that ecosystem is in good hands: with the acquisition of Zing's Tim Bucher, formerly of Apple fame, and the 120 person team he's built to help Dell put Apple in its place. Dell's staying a bit coy about the specifics of its plans, but word on the street is that they'll start shipping the software later this year, and push out a couple of players early next year. Sure, it could all fall apart in the end, but it's nice to see someone trying to be "the whole widget" of open standards portable media, as royally as it might eventually fail in the Apple-owned marketplace.