Microsoft's ability to make itself look terrible, even when doing something good, is already legendary, but they still manage to reach for new heights.
Example! On Saturday morning, Microsoft posted this on their Bing Twitter account:
The Internet went ballistic of course, and I don't blame it. I guess if only 50,000 people retweet their message, then those poor Japanese people are just out 50 grand, eh? Too bad, quake victims, should have gotten more retweets!
Several hours later, Bing tweeted that they were sorry "that the tweet was negatively perceived", and they've donated the full $100K regardless of the outcome of their marketing contest.
That's definitely nice and all, and I'm sure their intentions from the start were mostly good, but geez, they can't even get an apology right.
Tip: lamenting how people have perceived your actions is not an apology. It's a fake apology. An appropriate 140-character apology would go something like this: "Oh my god we're so sorry. We didn't think that through. Giving $1M to Japan—still a pittance to us—to make up for our cluelessness. Ugh."
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