Well that didn't last long...
Apple has rolled out iTunes 8.2.1 with the seemingly innocuous message: "iTunes 8.2.1 provides a number of important bug fixes and addresses an issue with verification of Apple devices."
The key line part here is addresses an issue with verification of Apple device and by "issue" it means: kills synchronisation with the Palm Pre. This had been a major, though controversial, attraction of the handset since it mimicked an iPod to enable direct syncing of content.
Apple had long played coy over what it planned to do about this, but I doubt anyone was really in any question. That said, whether this a) starts a cat and mouse game between Apple and Palm or b) starts off that old argument over whether iTunes should be open to third party devices has yet to be seen. Curiously though iTunes 8.2.1 still works with BlackBerry Media Sync. Hmmmn.
As for the update itself, like the .1 suggests there is little more than bug fixes going on elsewhere so the primary motivation behind the release is clear. Palm Pre owners, I'm sure you didn't want stinky old iTunes synchronisation anyway, did you...?