It's a competitive world out there! Minolta don't seem to have been able to keep up - by the time they finally got round to bringing out a DSLR they had probably lost a lot of business to their competitors.
They're anti-shake system within the body is a good idea but bird-photographers are not going to use it in droves for one simple reason - lenses. According to the Warehouse Express website they've discontinued the 300mmF4, 400mm F4.5 and the 100mm-400mm Apo-zoom, whilst the 300mmF2.8 and 600mm F4 lenses are £1000 more than the Canon equivalents!
Sony's high-end cameras now seem to have dual-slots for Memory Stick and Compact Flash cards so I would assume they'll do the same for any SLR they bring out (unlike the Nikon D50, for instance, which only has SD slot...)