Dell's Music Player Has New Zing

Michael Dell explains Dell's new approach to an MP3 player that can rival the iPod, using platform-agnostic software from recent acquisition Zing Systems

A long list of powerful companies have tried and failed to make much of a mark in the world of digital entertainment, where Apple (AAPL) reigns supreme. Think Microsoft (MSFT), Sony (SNE), and Wal-Mart Stores (WMT). Dell (DELL) probably ranks at the top of the list. The computer maker made a splashy entry into the MP3 music player market in 2004 with its line of Digital Jukebox players, only to abandon the effort two years later. Now it's back, with a very un-Dell-like approach. Rather than just selling hardware based on existing standards, it wants to use software acquired from Zing Systems to create a platform so devices and services offered by a range of other companies can work together. BusinessWeek Senior Writer Peter Burrows interviewed Chief Executive Michael Dell by e-mail about Dell's new plan.

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