From Dell to Try to Take on Apple's Online Music Dominance? at Mac Rumors:

The software handles behind-the-scenes translations so that content can be 'zinged' between computers and other compatible devices. Dell hopes to announce the Zing software as a feature on small, cheap laptops expected in September and to have the software installed on all of its consumer PCs by the end of the year.

Wow. Now there's a description that's going to woo venture capitalists. Hope nobody's yet patented "zinging" bytes across a network. IN-credible.

Okay, now for a more mature reaction based on Dell vs. Apple: Why It May Be Personal from

The idea, which Dell plans to unveil as early as September, is to create a broad standard, more open than Apple's, that will give people greater choice in how they buy and consume music, movies, and podcasts. ... 'Customers want access to content from a broad variety of sources—how, when, and where they choose,' says CEO Michael Dell.

Apple looks nearly invincible in the market, but this in itself may be its most serious vulnerability. Today, record labels grumble about Apple's tight grip on their business, and many consumers are frustrated because the iPod works only with iTunes, at a time when there are many ways to get digital content. Imagine if you could download a song from and send it to the mobile phone of a friend or the car stereo of someone who has satellite radio. By creating one uber-market, Dell and its partners hope to persuade consumers to try new devices and services. 'Apple wants to lock you in,' says Robert Enderle, a consultant who has been briefed by Dell. 'Dell wants to lock you in to choice.'

Gosh, I hope there was a pause between "lock you in" and "to choice" there. Didn't I see Enderle on The Office?

Dell is starting to sound a little like Microsoft. They had some pretty neat looking iPod clones a while back, and iirc, they're mostly gone; I haven't seen one in the catalogs Dell keeps spamming to my snail mail box in months. Now they think that open standards will beat Apple?

Though Dell is following along the logic I mentioned a while back that using open standards is the only way to fight Apple, they are going to have a heck of an uphill battle to beat what Amazon's already got. I mean, we've already got the means to put jive on most any hardware node, phone, computer, mp3 player. TCP/IP plus mp3 == music anywhere. At best, this is a value added proposition. At worst, they're going to try to wrest the dominance of iTunes the jukebox. The fact that it's not being positioned like that by Dell at the start of this article shows they aren't visualizing the latter. More later, I guess.