Back in January it was noted in a blog or two that Microsoft was working on creating an analytics platform in response to Google Analytics. This was a logical move after buying Deep Metrix, an analytics software company, last year. The background information on the Microsoft analytics platform code named “Gatineau” was sparse back in January and I am sad to say it is still sparse to this day. In fact, upon receiving a reply from Ian Thomas today, the lead of the project at Microsoft, I am sad to say the program appears to still be in the Alpha stage; but at least I am in the queue for testing the beta when it is available. Here is a link to the Gatineau login page; don’t bother trying to login it doesn’t work.
So what do we know about project Gatineau? Nothing but some snippets from Ian Thomas that points toward Microsoft having a few tricks up their sleeves (I haven’t heard that before). The following is a quote from a comment Ian Thomas made in response to a discussion on his original blog posting on project Gatineau: “We think there’s room in the market for another service of this nature; plus, we have some stuff up our sleeves that we hope you’ll like and which will differentiate us from Google’s and others’ offerings.” He went on to note that “we have more resources than DeepMetrix did (development team has more than quadrupled since the acquisition, for example), so hopefully we won’t disappoint you.”

How will it compare to Google Analytics? On the original blog posting Ian says the target audience for this project is broadly similar to the target audience for Google Analytics – though it’s emphatically not our intention simply to replicate the functionality within that product.”

When is Gatineau supposed to become available? Ian stated we hope to release this product during 2007; however, we’re extremely keen to avoid a repeat of Google’s experience with Google Analytics, so we will be ramping up our user numbers gradually to make sure everyone has a good experience from a performance perspective.

Here’s Hoping

I really hope Microsoft can pull off a working analytics program soon for their sake. It has been over a year since their acquisition of Deep Metrix (May 15, 2006) and they are still in the Alpha stage even with a significant sized staff at hand. When they do launch I hope their product offers enough unique functionality that its competitors like Google can’t copy them within a month. At any rate, sorry I can’t provide anything new or concrete but I look forward to additional news on Gatineau (including a better name) and will post news and replies from Ian as I receive them.

I Need to Vent!

I don’t know about you but if I hear another claim from Microsoft that they have something amazing they are working on and they don’t deliver I will have had it with them. They have enough money and brains over there that they undoubtedly do have amazing ideas but for some reason their corporate culture just kills their delivery by being too late (behind other innovators like Google) or delivering products too early without enough testing (thinking back to Windows 95 & Millennium). Here’s praying that they deliver like they did with Windows XP (their best operating system to date IMHO, albeit late).

by Ross Dunn, CEO, StepForth SEO Services
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