Matthew Bath

-Matthew Bath is technology editor at Which? The opinions expressed are his own.-

Microsoft’s Windows operating system has been frustrating and delighting computer users in almost equal measure since it was first debuted by the software giant first in 1985. Fast forward through nearly a quarter of a century of powering the majority of the world’s personal computers, and Windows is about to hit another milestone.

Windows 7 launches on October 22, worldwide, and it’s safe to say that, as a firm, Microsoft will be collectively crossing fingers and toes that shoppers flock to the new version.

The successor to its Windows Vista operating system, Windows 7 promises to be faster, more reliable and make computing simpler than ever – so much so that like a proud parent, Microsoft hosting worldwide coming-of-age parties to help launch Windows 7 onto PC desktops worldwide.

Yet the key question is whether consumers, already stung by what many found a problematic Windows Vista, are as willing to take a punt on this latest version.