A few weeks ago we ran a rumour that Dell was working on a new PMP—no biggie, really. Are people really trying to top the iPod at this point? But Business Week has uncovered more of the story from "multiple sources." Apparently Dell's manoeuvring isn't about hardware at all (or that much, at least). It's about their iTunes-like software from recently acquired company Zing.
And at this moment, Dell has 120 engineers completing an iTunes competitor that has one thing on its side: Everyone.
Because apparently, Dell intends to share their platform, allowing multiple services and devices to use it. So if you download music from Amazon, that's fine. And if you want to put that music on your mobile phone, alright. DRM will still be an issue, of course, but otherwise their platform doesn't care—according to Business Week, Dell just wants an open market where everyone who's not named after a fruit can get a piece of the action.
Look for the Zing software to be on low-priced notebooks as early as September, with more devices to follow soon. The question that still seems unanswered, at least in our interpretation, is whether or not Dell will be distributing this "open" software to products beyond Dell PCs. And that's a key point if they even want to consider challenging the biggest music distribution system in the world today. [BusinessWeek]