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March 12, 2009

adCenter Analytics beta closing: Goodbye, Gatineau

red-sunset-casey1 If you’re an adCenter Analytics (ACA) beta customer, or you’ve read my colleague Mel’s posting over on the adCenter Community site, you’ll know that we’ve decided to close the ACA beta program at the end of the year.

In some senses, this is a sad day for me, since ACA (then known as Gatineau) was the first project I worked on when I came to Microsoft back in 2006, and even though I moved off it early last year, I’ve stayed in close contact with the ACA team since. But in assessing my own reaction to this news, it’s important to separate out the damage to my ego from a more level-headed assessment of this news. And in the latter regard, I’m full of optimism.

I know from the time I spent on the project and from talking to the team since that we have learned a great deal about the kinds of analytical capabilities that we need to provide throughout our ad platform to enable our advertisers and publishers to get the best value out of working with us. And let me be clear: analytics is tremendously important. But this announcement reflects a conclusion that we’ve come to that, for us, providing analytics in the form of a standalone tool like ACA doesn’t present the best value or utility for our customers.

Of course, it’s not my place to be making ad hoc pronouncements about our analytics product strategy, especially not at a moment like this; so I’ve probably said enough already. But I’d like to add my personal thanks to all of you who took the time to try out ACA and provide us with valuable feedback and ideas. Hopefully we provided some value for you along the way.

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