Five months ago, Microsoft announced its Windows 7 upgrade program. The program offers cheap or free Windows 7 upgrade [upon general availability] to anyone who bought a PC with Windows Vista from a participating OEM or retailer between June 26th, 2009 and January 31st, 2010. Recently, I discovered that Toshiba - one of the largest manufacturers of laptops, has really messed up with their Windows 7 program in the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East and Africa).
Recently, consumers in the US have complained about Windows 7 upgrade program's additional fees ($10). But ironically, they should be thankful, since Toshiba charges $40 for Windows 7 upgrade in the EMEA region. If the high price wasn't enough, Toshiba emailed EMEA customers about a week ago and informed them that they won't be able to ship their Windows 7 upgrade on time due to a driver issue:
"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."
EMEA customers will have to wait two more months to receive their alleged cheap Windows 7 upgrade pack. Suspiciously, North American customers aren't affected by this issue: "North American customers who purchased qualified Toshiba laptops after 6/26/09 and register for the upgrade on our site 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." said Jared Leavitt from Toshiba's US PR to Theo Valich from BSN
We wrote an email to Toshiba EMEA asking for their official response and some explanations for the driver issue and its two month delay, but we haven't heard from them yet [if their PRs work like their software developers, it's going to take them at least a month to reply]. Three things are certain: Toshiba hasn't prepared itself properly for Windows 7, their software developers aren't taking their jobs seriously and the EMEA consumer got screwed once again.