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Microsoft Turns Another Tragedy Into a Money-Making Opportunity

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Jeez, Microsoft. Again?!

After the devastating quake in Japan that resulted in thousands of deaths and even more without a home, companies around their world did their part in raising money for the relief effort. While the majority made immediate donations to the Red Cross, Microsoft's Bing decided to make a little game out of it.


Rather than donating a flat $100,000 to the relief effort, Bing turned the Japan quake into an advertising game and had each retweet link directly to Microsoft's site. And if the retweets fell below 100K, well, sorry Japan. Them's the breaks.

And four months after apologizing for the gaffe and donating $100K without the lottery, Microsoft has once again showed staggering insensitivity in the midst of a tragedy.

Over the weekend, following singer Amy Winehouse's death, Microsoft's PR account for Xbox 360 suggested that fans remember the talent the right way: by buying her hit album Back to Black at the online Zune store.

A little over an hour later, Microsoft offered its mea culpa in another tweet: "Apologies to everyone if our earlier Amy Winehouse 'download' tweet seemed purely commercially motivated. Far from the case, we assure you."

Uh huh.

But as Mashable's Sarah Kessler notes, Microsoft wasn't the only one capitalizing off Winehouse's death.

"Apple posted an image of Winehouse on the front of the iTunes store with the caption 'Remembering Amy Winehouse,' " Kessler writes. In no small part to the ad, the album subsequently went to number one in the store. Kessler adds, "Amazon also posted a brief obituary that linked to a page where shoppers can purchase the singer's music."

Stay classy, guys.

(See also: Bing Turns Japan Quake Into a Money-Making Opportunity and Kenneth Cole Demonstrates How Not To Use Twitter To Promote Your New Spring Collection)

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