Rumours that Microsoft is to launch a tablet to compete with the iPad have sprung up online.

According to The Wrap, primarily an entertainment site, the company will use an event planned for Monday in Los Angeles to make a "major" announcement.

The Verge confirmed Microsoft is holding the event. All Things D also said the event could be used to launch a tablet.

Others speculated the target might not be the iPad but the seven inch Kindle Fire - and that Nokia may be involved.

The Wrap said that it did not know what Microsoft would announce or where the event would take place - which leaves this firmly in the 'rumour' column for now.

However with the touch-optimised Windows 8 operating system on the horizon, Microsoft has many of the pieces in place to enter the hardware tablet market alongside Apple and the makers of its Android rivals.

Tablets running Windows software are nothing new, but Microsoft itself has not manufactured a tablet itself.

However at E3 earlier this month it announced 'SmartGlass', a service designed to connect Xbox consoles with phones, tablets and PCs, leading to renewed speculation it may launch its own branded devices.