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Microsoft’s Project Gatineau is now in beta and being tested by the public. On October 29th they began inviting certain users to sign up for the beta, although you do need to be an adCenter user to be granted an invitation. At this time it is not known when Microsoft will release it for all customers to use.

Gatineau is Microsoft’s “answer” to Google’s Analytics, and they state that it won’t be exactly the same as Analytics (and of course they say it will be better). Ian Thomas of Microsoft’s Digital Advertising Solutions group has a blog specifically discussing Gatineau, and in it he states, “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.” Microsoft’s attainment of DeepMetrix tipped off the internet community that the software giant was looking to get into web analytics. Gatineau is the name of the Canadian city where DeepMetrix was based for a number of years.

Ian goes on in his more recent blogs to give us just a taste of something we may see from Gatineau, and I’ve tried to capture some differences between this and Google Analytics. Perhaps the most exciting aspect of Gatineau is that it has the ability to track some demographic data (such as usage statistics between men and women) for users that have a Microsoft Live ID and are logged in as they browse the web. Another feature is the ability to map the document hierarchy from your content management system into the tool and see this in Gatineau’s reports. The tool also includes similar things that Google Analytics already does but in a different way, including funnel reports, outbound link tracking, inbound referrals, ROI reports, goal analysis, and client system reports.

At this time, Gatineau is not getting much attention, but we’ll be watching to see how Microsoft’s entry into the Analytics game unfolds. It is also likely that the features introduced with Gatineau could be incorporated into the market’s current offering of web analytics tools, but we’ll let time tell. We at WebShare are evaluating Gatineau and its capabilities to understand where it shines and where it lacks, and will continue to communicate on this new service from Microsoft and let you know how it might (or might not) benefit you.

WebShare, LLC is a full-service Internet Marketing firm specializing in Search and Conversion Marketing. We offer a variety of services to help you make the most of your search marketing efforts, and get an edge on your competitors.