Microsoft has apologized for offending several people after tweeting out an effort to raise money for those affected by the natural disasters in Japan.

How you can #SupportJapan - For every retweet, @bing will give $1 to Japan quake victims, up to $100K.Sat Mar 12 15:45:30 via CoTweetBing

The tweet led to comments on Twitter that Microsoft was trying to use the tragedy to market its own products, under the guise of doing good.

Bing knows no shame: Microsoft tries to uses Japan #earthquake as marketing ploy - #failMon Mar 14 03:49:18 via bitlyJay Oatway

Cant believe @bing are using the Japan Earthquake / Tsunami to market themselves. #fail #supportjapan #japantragedyMon Mar 14 13:52:35 via TweetDeckRick Valentine

The reaction was similar to the backlash designer Kenneth Cole faced after a tweet he posted during the riots in Cairo, which read, “Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online at -KC.”

Microsoft’s Bing team swiftly apologized for the tweet and the way it was interpreted. The company announced that it has donated $100,000 to Japan and linked to ways others can help as well:

We apologize the tweet was negatively perceived. Intent was to provide an easy way for people to help Japan. We have donated $100K.Sat Mar 12 22:24:27 via CoTweetBing

Weigh in: Do you think Bing stepped over the line? Or were Microsoft’s good intentions misinterpreted?