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January 09, 2007

The rumors are true: Microsoft 'Gatineau' exists

I should know by now that you can't hide anything from the Internet. So it doesn't come as any great surprise to me that blog posts are starting to appear that have spotted that there is now something live on the Internet under the name of 'Gatineau'.

As the observant amongst you will know, Gatineau is the code-name for our forthcoming web analytics tool. Earlier this month we took an early version of the code live onto the Internet as part of a closed Alpha program for a very limited number of our existing customers - so no, I'm afraid you can't get a login ID to take a look at this stage.

To give you a few more tidbits of information, and hopefully to pre-empt the rumor mill a little, however, here are some things that we can say about the project at this stage. Please note, however, the following disclaimer:

None of the information in this blog post constitutes a commitment on Microsoft's part to deliver any particular technology or service. Any and all of the information here is subject to change without notice.

Now, on to the tidbits:

  • This project is based on technology that we acquired from DeepMetrix Corporation last year. Gatineau is the name of the Canadian city where DeepMetrix was based for a number of years. Final naming for the product is still unconfirmed.
  • The version live now is early Alpha code developed for stability and proof-of-concept purposes. Many aspects of the system (in particular, the interface) will change dramatically between this version and the version we release.
  • The next step for the project is an invitation-only beta program which we expect to start within the next few months. If you would like to be considered for inclusion in the beta program, please let me know.
  • 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.
  • I can't be very specific at all about the functionality we hope to deliver, but I can say that 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.

That's it - I can already feel our legal folks breathing down my neck. As we move forward with the project this year, expect to hear more from us about our plans. If you have specific questions, contact me directly or leave a comment on this post and I'll respond if I can. I can't provide any screenshots at this stage, I'm afraid.

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