And apparently doing it by waving a "bucket of money".
Microsoft revealed aggressive pricing for its upcoming Zune HD device last week, with plans to sell it for $219.99 - less than the price of an iPod touch.
However, it seems the company is also planning to take on Apple in the mobile apps space, by enticing developers to convert their iPhone apps to run on its new Zunes.
At least, that's according to respected tech blog Daring Fireball, which quotes an iPhone developer as saying they had been offered "a bucket of money" to port their iPhone Twitter client to Zune.
Previous Zune models have been focused on music and video content rather than apps, although earlier this year, games were made available for the device too. Adding apps to the Zune Marketplace isn't a huge leap.
The Zune HD has been receiving unaccustomed praise from tech journalists and bloggers, but news that Microsoft is courting developers hints that the company realises a healthy app catalogue will be just as important as technical specs if it wants to take on the iPod touch.