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.

40 thoughts on “The rumors are true: Microsoft ‘Gatineau’ exists

  1. Ok, so Microsoft’s Analytics is really DeepMetrix reborn as “Gatineau”

    I have been using DeepMetrix for several of my architect clients for the last two years – and its an OK product as far as it goes. Ian Thomas from Microsoft just confirmed that Microsoft Analytics, code named Gatineau (based…

  2. Gatineau: Microsoft utmanar Google Analytics

    Det florerar en del rykten på nätet om att Microsoft håller på att utveckla en konkurrent till webbstatistikverktyget Google Analytics och nu så bekräftas dessa rykten på en Microsoft-anställds blogg. Utvecklingsversionen bär namnet Gatineau och befin…

  3. Google Analytics対抗? マイクロソフトのアクセス解析サービスが登場間近か

    Google Analyticsは無料で利用できる高機能アクセス解析サービスとして人気を集めたが、米マイクロソフトはGoogle Analytics対抗となるアクセス解析サービスを準備中のようだ。
    そのサービスは

  4. I think it’s a strategic error on the part of the SE’s to focus on having their own analytics products. If the reason they’re doing it is to help advertisers learn about and then optimize their spend (thus more fully participating in search = profitably spending more), then a faster, more cost-effective way to do that would be to help already existing analytics vendors get broader adoption.
    *Price is not the issue*, human capacity to analyze and act on data is. That being the case, SE’s should help existing products get out there and focus their efforts on helping SEM’s and analytics vendors be able to do more work. Where do SEM’s, analytics providers and online marketing depts spend all their time and hit workflow bottlenecks?
    1)Dealing with differences in SE API’s
    2)Dealing with differences in tracking packages from client to client and the need to interface with all of them equally well.
    3)Analyzing historical data because there’s no historical keyword data marketplace.
    4)Testing massive amounts of ad copy because the SE’s are forcing us all to be haiku experts.
    5)Trying to see through opaque marketplaces when opacity provides the SE’s nothing but short-term gains.
    ***************************************************
    If Microsoft wants to make waves against Google, it should get with Yahoo and agree on aligning their API’s and PPC interfaces so well that managing MSN and Yahoo PPC campaigns will require the same amount of work as spending on only one of them.
    ***************************************************

  5. I’m reliably informed (as an existing user of LiveStats.NET) that the new product will offer nowhere near the same level of functionality, as the server overhead to process that much data in realtime is just way too high.
    That’s a real shame, since the killer feature for me is the ‘live’ drilling through your data, slicing and dicing exactly as you want. (That’s when LS.NET is working that is; since the acquisition, it’s down more often than not…)

  6. I agree Phil that the overhead would be a big issue. We have deployed LS.XSP and that version carries a high amount of overhead…not to mention stability issues.
    Out of all the similar priced analytics, I liked Livestats the best. I hope this next version continues to be just as impressive.

  7. Thanks for the comments, guys.
    Chris: I hear what you’re saying, and we should be doing all those things (we already are doing some of them). However I still think there’s room for a web analytics product of our own, because there’s a large unserved user base at the smaller end of the market (the ‘long tail’) which doesn’t have the resources to buy (and then pay for consultancy around) something like Webtrends or HBX.
    What Google have achieved with GA is to create a significant pool of relatively low-cost expertise (in the form of lots of small SEM/web agencies) to help this segment get value out of web analytics; a free tool with broad reach can do this, thus mitigating (to a certain extent) the human resource issue. 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.
    Phil: Not sure where you heard this, but that’s not my expectation. Although we need to scale Gatineau way past the numbers that LiveStats.BIZ/NET supported, 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.
    Thanks,
    Ian

  8. 米マイクロソフトはGoogle Analytics対抗となるアクセス解析サービスを準備中

    米マイクロソフトはGoogle Analytics対抗となるアクセス解析サービスを準備中。
    現在Gatineau(ガティノー)という開発コードネームが付けられており、現時点では限られた特定の人に対するアルファ版テストが行われている模様。…

  9. Reviewing my comment, it looks like I’ve confused LS.NET and LS.BIZ; the problems we’re having are specifically with LS.BIZ, which clearly carries a higher overhead of course.
    That said, I need that level of functionality, so I’m hoping Gatineau won’t disappoint.

  10. Microsofts Gatineau Web analytics tool revealed

    (Via Bink.nu) Microsofts Ian Thomas reveals if not all, then at least a little bit:
    I should know by now that you cant hide anything from the Internet. So it doesnt come as any great surprise to me that blog posts are starting to…

  11. ‘Gatineau’ זה ה google analytics של מיקרוסופט

    מיקרוסופט קנתה את הטכנולוגיה של webmatrix על מנת לספק סטטיסטיקות גלישה לאתרים.
    כרגע זה נמצא בשלב אלפא, ושלב הבטא יהיה מוכן באמצע שנת 2007 ניתן לקבל הזמנות ע”י משלוח מייל ל ian.thomas AT microsoft.com
    נראה שזה עוד שלב בתחרות של מיקרוסופט מול גוגל…

  12. “…though it’s emphatically not our intention simply to replicate the functionality within that product…”
    Microsoft not simply replicating? Really? Does it have an Adsense tracker built in? 😉
    More serious; will it become a tool for (MSN) advertisers only, or is this tool also paying attention to publishers? What other functionalities are there that other tools don’t have?
    Bert

  13. Bert,
    The service will have functionaliy for advertisers, as you would expect; but we do plan to make it a great tool for publishers also. As we get closer to the beta I’ll be able to be more specific about the functionality we’re working on.
    Ian

  14. Hello Ian,
    I sent you an email about possibly being included in the upcoming beta. I know that you are unable to directly comment on upcoming functionality, but may I suggest some things I’ve noticed as shortcomings with Google Analytics. I run a Google Analytics Consulting firm and some features such as emailing of reports, direct and easy access to referring sources (messageboards in particular), and ability to track PPC campaigns from competitors (Google and Yahoo) would be nice. I know its a large wish list, but just some feedback that I thought would be helpful.
    Jeff

  15. Jeff,
    Thanks for your feedback. That’s interesting and useful information. We’ll be getting back to interested beta participants as the beta date approaches, so keep an eye on your inbox for more news. Thanks for your interest!
    Ian

  16. Microsoft Analytics Solution – Better than Google?

    In case you havent heard yet, Ian Thomas, who works for Microsofts adLabs team, has confirmed that Microsoft is working on its own analytics software – a modified version of the analytics software created by DeepMetrix (who was purchased by M…

  17. Just sent you a beta join request. BTW, one thing that I would highly appreciate for my work environment is the ability to grab the data via a web service. I need to be able to integrate all of the results of our marketing efforts:
    inventory & distribution – Dynamics GP
    mass email – Lyris
    call center – Dynamics CRM
    web analytics – Gatineau or whatever
    and so on…
    into integrated Campaign Analysis Dashboards. Google Analytics fails miserably in that there isn’t a web service that lets you grab all of your data, bring it into a db and render it side by side with data from all our other business systems to let us build a coherent 360 degree view of everything that’s going on.
    Thanks,
    Rob Wuhrman

  18. Hello Iain,
    Would you mind contacting me off list please? I would like to discuss the possibility of working together in a few capacities.
    I have been working in the Web Analytics Industry for 10 years and would like to share some proprietary ideas with you
    Regards
    Marcos Richardson
    Director
    http://www.webtraffiq.com

  19. Ian,
    Please contact me directly. I’d like to discuss with you how you can differentiate yourselves from GA by providing your customers tight integration with Excel as well as integration of all your customers’ data using our light weight desktop EII tool, DataLinks. Your Web Analytics team at MSFT is already using DataLinks to automate their Excel-based scorecards. Would welcome the chance to show it to you.
    Tom
    http://www.bidata.net

  20. Ian –
    Are you able to provide any commentary regarding the inclusion of mutivariate testing capabilities in Gatineau? Currently it is laughable how much the players in this space are charging for a robust MVT tool, and the only low (no) cost alternative is Google’s Site Optimizer which is too blunt of a tool to do anything remotely considered heavy lifting.
    Regards,
    Scott McAndrew

  21. Webstatisztika Microsoft módra?

    A címben szereplő kérdésre eddig is és most is nagyon rövid a válasz: a Microsoftnak nincs normális eszköze

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