"Zune", Microsoft's attempt at an iPod competitor is launching today or tomorrow, and Zune.net appears to be the online destination for this new ecosystem.
I'm thinking Microsoft's approach is likely to be far more successful than other big players' past attempts at dethroning the iPod, because Microsoft is approaching this market as an ecosystem.
While the "device" may be the object of public and media obsession, everything that goes behind making the device actually useful and interoperable, is what makes-up the ecosystem, and the ecosystem is what attracts and keeps users. iPod is useful because of iTunes. iTunes is useful because i can just stick a CD in my computer, watch the tracks auto-import themselves, rearrange everything at will, then watch the iPod auto-update itself, or I can just click a button to burn my own compilation CD. Remember "Rip. Mix. Burn."? Then came the iTunes music store, the first viable online digital mainstream music marketplace, all integrated within iTunes, not some clumsily implemented web site.
Sony wasn't selling an ecosystem with their various cryptically-named devices.
With that said, it looks like a brick, much like the very-first iPods ... which was okay 5 years ago, and is available in black, white and ... diarrhea-brown.