Microsoft prices Zune HD under iPod

Devices set for release in mid-September

SEATTLE -- Microsoft put its Zune HD digital music and video player on sale Thursday, pricing it below comparable Apple iPod devices, in an attempt to claw some market share away from the dominant leader.

The devices, which are available for preorder but won't hit shelves until Sept. 15, are priced at $219.99 for the 16 gigabyte version and $289.99 for the 32 gigabyte version. Comparable iPod Touch players are priced at $299 and $399, respectively.

A 16-gigabyte player typically holds about 4,000 songs.

Microsoft's new Zune HD is slimmer than previous version and has a touch screen for the first time. The range comes in five colors and has a built-in radio receiver, WiFi, and can display high-definition video to a big screen.