When has MS ever encoraged multiple vendors in a market niche that it occupies? If MS brigs out a MP3 player, I would expect them to attempt to tightly tie it to Vista, to have a unique format that plays "best" on MS's player, etc. That's they way they've always operated. Look at OS/2 and DesqView and GEM and ....

As for what Zune is or will be, I think it's best to wait and see. Why feed MS's spin when it may not have decided itself what it's to be or which companies it wants to crush first?

My $0.02.