Several companies have banded together to take down Apple's iPod. Microsoft will be allying with Toshiba, Victor, NTT DoCoMo and five other companies to release music playing services and players that will challenge the iPod. Microsoft will be developing the software while Toshiba and Victor develop the players, and DoCoMo will add mobile phone functionality to this system.
This kind of reminds me of elementary school when all of the geeks would band together to fight the one bully. Unfortunately this isn't elementary school, so Apple is likely going to kick the asses of all nine companies and take their milk money, to boot.