If you purchased Toshiba’s notebook in hope of receiving Windows 7 upgrade, unfortunately we don’t have bright news [this time around]. Recently, we purchased a Toshiba Satellite P500 notebook that came with the coupon for a free upgrade to Windows 7. The respected Israeli journalist Eran Badit from NGOHQ.com contacted us with the sad news that he received an e-mail from Toshiba, stating that he won’t be getting Windows 7 on October 22nd, 2009.

A few hours later, we received an e-mail from Toshiba containing absolutely identical text to Eran’s forwarded e-mail. This is the content of e-mail that should be circulating around:

"Dear Sir or Madam,
 
Thank you for ordering the Toshiba Windows 7 Upgrade pack. Your shipment will contain a Windows 7 DVD, the product key and a free Toshiba driver DVD, containing the latest Windows 7 drivers for your Toshiba PC. Additionally, the driver DVD will guide you through the upgrade process for your convenience. The collection of the driver DVD and the programming of an automatic upgrade process require some more time. Therefore, we will be able to ship your Windows 7 Upgrade at the beginning of December. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.
Due to technical reasons it is not possible to ship your Windows 7 Upgrade pack without the driver DVD. As soon as the upgrade pack has been shipped, we will inform you straight away by email.
 
Kind regards
 
Your Windows 7 Upgrade Team"

Thus, come this Thursday, buyers of Toshiba notebooks in EMEA and North America will not be receiving their Windows 7 upgrade kits due to a driver SNAFU at Team Toshiba. Now, we would show maximum understanding if there wasn’t for several small troublesome facts for Toshiba:

  • Release date for Windows 7 was known months ago
  • Other OEM vendors probably had same problems as Toshiba, but completed them on time
  • Sending a generic e-mail without a press release is generally "dodge the bad press" and consumer unfriendly move, thus we decided to act as Toshiba’s Consumer Information Service.
  • No information about the delay on Toshiba’s official website for Windows 7 upgrade

Toshiba's Windows 7 upgrade site
As you might have guessed… number 3 doesn’t come with a disclaimer that Toshiba will be late.

Personally, I am not disappointed at this delay, since it was obviously caused by inept moves on Toshiba part. We spoke with one system integrator from unnamed competing company and the source went into detail what issues they had in creating the driver and pre-install DVDs, but ultimately – the job was done with weeks to spare before the deadline. But the sneaky way of delivering news in order not to arise deserved negative media coverage is something completely different.

We contacted Toshiba and haven’t received an answer at press time. Due to the number of marketing and PR agencies Toshiba uses, if Toshiba employees or PR’s read this e-mail, they’re welcome to contact us and we’ll run the statement. If not, consider that this positioned buyers of Toshiba products as 2nd grade customers. Unfortunately, this SNAFU reminds us that even the Japanese can FUBAR.

Update October 20th, 2009, 18:12 GMT - We have heard with Jarred Leavit from Toshiba America Information Systems, Digital Products Division PR agency who contacted us with the statement clarifying the matter. As far as North American market is concerned, Windows 7 upgrade media will be shipped on October 25th, 2009. This is the statement in full:
"North American customers who purchased qualified Toshiba laptops after 6/26/09 and register for the upgrade on our site (http://laptops.toshiba.com/windows7upgrade-learnmore) will receive their Windows 7 upgrade media in October.
Specifically, Toshiba will ship the discs on 10/25/09. Also, Toshiba will soon release Windows 7 drivers for all our consumer laptops released over the past two years, ensuring that customers who purchased Toshiba laptops prior to 6/26/09 and purchase Windows 7 on their own can continue to get the most out of their purchase dollars."

There you go – Toshiba North America didn’t messed up, the blame now solely lies within Toshiba EMEA. We’re still not certain why we received that e-mail, but there might be a mixup in databases, due to my e-mail address being linked to both California and Croatia [hence, different e-mail databases]. We appreciate the quickness of Jarred’s response and hope that now the message is clear.